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U.S. Navy commissions first female Tongan Officer

Navy commissions first female Tongan Officer
U.S. Navy Commissions First Female Tongan Officer
Posted at 4:47 PM, May 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-11 19:47:42-04

CORONADO, Calif. (KGTV) — A first in the U.S. Navy's nearly 250-year history happened right here in San Diego.

On April 29 at Naval Base Coronado, the Navy commissioned its first ever female officer of Tongan descent — Mary McCray.

Friends and family witnessed the commissioning ceremony at Amphibious Construction Battalion 1 that was full of Tongan heritage and saw McCray transition from her previous enlisted position as a Boatswain’s Mate 1st Class to an Ensign.

“My parents came to Los Angeles in 1985 from Tonga and I was born in Long Beach, California,” McCray stated about her background. “Watching my immigrant parents grind every day to provide for us built a sense of hard work and perseverance in me, which I have carried through every challenge and responsibility I have had.”

McCray married a fellow U.S. Navy Boatswain’s Mate, who is now also a commissioned Boatswain. The decorative military couple have three children.

McCray has a message for other Tongan females, “Now there is a living testimony that this is all possible. You can have a successful family, both professionally and personally, and you don’t have to limit yourself. Only you can limit yourself, and you are limitless. The door is now wide open, and you are looking at me, and I am looking at you and we are both real. We can all make it. Don’t ever entertain negativity and carry grace wherever you go.”