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    HomeWorldThe Quiet Determination Behind the Navy's Groundbreaking African American Reactor Officer

    The Quiet Determination Behind the Navy’s Groundbreaking African American Reactor Officer

    The Quiet Determination Behind the Navy's Groundbreaking African American Reactor Officer

    Last summer, Capt. Kimberly Jones quietly took on a job aboard a new ship. Although both she and her commander knew the posting was historic, she said nobody felt the need to ratchet up the fanfare.

    The job is the reactor officer aboard the aircraft carrier Dwight D. Eisenhower. That position — which is responsible for operating the ship's twin nuclear reactors and overseeing hundreds of sailors — is one of the most important and influential aboard the ship since it provides propulsion, electricity, and the ability to launch planes for one of the Navy's biggest and most visible platforms. Plus, the risks of messing it up are enormous.

    Jones is the first African American woman to be entrusted with the job. She's also only the sixth African American ever to hold the position.

    Read Next: The Journey Home from for Fallen Americans

    Jones, who spoke with Military.com over the phone Tuesday, said that while she was going to college for engineering at Tuskegee University in Alabama, she wasn't thinking about the Navy as an option.

    “I received a flier in the mail for the Nuclear Propulsion Officer Candidate program,” she recalled. “It just sounded different, [and] it came at a time where I was very open to options.”

    She was commissioned in 2001 and began her career in aboard the amphibious transport ship USS Juneau. That experience was formative because she was one of only two women aboard. The other female…

    Continue Reading This Article At Military.com

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