Bridge to The Future

Watch crew w/ the Captain


The Crowley-managed USNS HOWARD O. LORENZEN (T-AGM 25) made history recently by having the first reported  all-female officer bridge watch. From Jan. 25 to Feb. 5, the three stood watch on the bridge of the LORENZEN, a 534-foot missile range instrumentation ship operated by a Crowley crew of 31 civilian U.S. mariners, including seven women, as it sailed in international waters. Above with CAPT Robert Wiechert, they are (L-R);

  • Hannah Jette, third mate, 26, from Sturbridge, MA
  • Michelle Danhof, third mate, 27, from San Antonio, TX
  • Ashley Markey, second mate, 27, from Charlotte, NC

The milestone represented the hard work, leadership and dedication of women in maritime, and marked Crowley’s continuing efforts to operate in a culture of high performance that includes diversity and inclusion. “We didn’t realize at the time it was an all-female bridge crew because we’re all a team,” said Jette, a 2016 Massachusetts Maritime Academy graduate who has sailed for three years, including one year aboard the LORENZEN. “I have other female sailors I know, and two or three women on cargo. There really isn’t any closing of any doors.” The bridge watch is one of the most critical operations for deck officers. When the ship is at sea, the bridge is the only workplace that always is staffed. “I have watch officers I know I can depend on at all times,” said Capt. Robert Wiechert, 59, of Port Townsend, Wash., who was master of the LORENZEN during their watch. “They have been, and continue to be, assets to this vessel and the program.”

In the process of working for Crowley, the female officers have learned and leveraged lessons about leadership and teamwork that have helped them succeed as women in maritime logistics. They said they’ve learned to recognize the contributions they can make on board a ship – and so are more women, who they’ve seen increasingly show interest in attending one of the maritime academies. When Jette received her degree in International Maritime Business and Marine Transportation, she said female enrollment at the school had tripled from when she entered the Academy. That’s not to say they didn't face obstacles. As Jette was considering going to the Academy for a maritime career, a guidance counselor cautioned her against it saying “you will never make it through.” She showed him. 

“I’d never want anyone to think that their gender holds them back,” Jette said. “There have been times I didn’t speak up for myself and people have judged me on my looks and my gender. And I have learned from those mistakes and experiences. I’ve become a leader and I have learned to speak up when I need to.” It’s not about gender – it’s about professionalism and respect. 

The above was excerpted from See link to full article below.

All Female Bridge Ship Management - Full Article