By Shannon Lawlor
It’s only been around a decade since women have been allowed to serve alongside men in the Navy. In that time, women have been busy breaking down barriers, and one woman just made Naval submarine history. Angela Koogler recently joined the USS Louisiana as chief of the boat. She’s officially the first woman in Naval submarine history to be awarded this title. The accomplishments of Master Chief Information Systems Technician Angela Koogler are an encouraging step forward for women in the Navy. Her story is an inspirational one that showcases encouragement, strength, and perseverance.

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The USS Louisiana’s Newest Chief of the Boat

Angela Koogler is originally from Kettering, Ohio. She always dreamed of working in the Navy. According to an interview with DVIDS, Koogler’s drive was inspired by her mother, who was a civil servant for Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. Being exposed to the military for most of her life encouraged her to pursue a military career immediately after high school, but her plans were derailed for a few years due to an injured ankle. After college, she started her career. She officially joined the Navy in 2002. Two decades later, she’s making history. She was pushed by her Submarine Command Master Chief Travis Brown, who saw her as the perfect candidate for the position because of her go-getter personality. Angela consistently exemplified strong drive and the ability to swiftly adapt. This ultimately led to her success working on the USS Louisiana submarine, which is currently based out of Washington in Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor. Koogler believes that everyone should be integrated into leadership positions, regardless of gender. In her opinion, if they can get the job done, they should be given the opportunity to serve. Angela Koogler worked hard to pave the way for women in the Navy to reach the top. This is a massive step forward in Naval history. Not too long ago, women were struggling for the opportunity to even serve alongside men on submarines. Now, they’re starting to occupy top military positions.

History of Women on Submarines

Navy women have historically struggled for equal treatment with their male counterparts. They’ve been able to serve in the Navy since the early 1900s, and most originally worked as nurses in the early days. Over the years, their climb to leadership titles has been a slow but steady process. However, the progress has been especially slow in the submarine force. Women weren't allowed to serve alongside men on submarines until 2011. There were no female leaders or women who held the chief of the boat rank. It took about two decades for a woman to be given the title of chief of the boat. The newest submarine chief of the boat on the USS Louisiana has helped build a pathway for military women moving forward. Koogler helped break the stereotypes of what a Naval leader has historically been and showed that gender shouldn’t have any influence on leadership positions in the Navy. Her story is an encouragement for young women who hope to progress in the Navy.

What’s Next for Koogler?

Angela Koogler isn’t quite done breaking the glass ceiling. Her next dream, as stated in Business Insider, is to become a command master chief (CMC) — the senior leader who reports directly to their commanding officer or commander. Her current position will help her break into the CMC position. This surely isn’t the last time we’re going to be seeing her name in the news. Recently, women have been breaking barriers in the military left and right. Angela Koogler, serving as the chief of the boat for the nuclear ballistic missile submarine USS Louisiana, is another role model for young women who hope to leave their mark and advance their careers in the Navy. She’s a perfect example of everything that women are capable of.

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Image: MC1 Brian G. Reynolds/Navy



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