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Women at the Naval War College

In 1958, Lieutenant Commander Erma Jane Potter, U.S. Naval Reserve (WAVES), joined the staff of the Naval War College as part of the Strategy and Logistics Department. The following year, 1959-1960, she became the first women to receive a Certificate of Completion for the Course in Naval Warfare as a member of staff. 

A decade later, the first two women officers were invited to attend the Naval War College as resident students, joining 110 others in the Senior Course for 1969-1970: Commander Fran McKee and Captain Anne Ducey graduated in 1970. 

Captain Ducey enlisted in the Navy almost immediatedly after roles opened for women. She commissioned as an Ensign in 1943 and moved up the ranks in the Women's Reserve. She became Commanding Officer, Recruit Training Command (Women) at Bainbridge, Md. in charge of basic training for thousands of women recruits. After attending the Naval War College, Ducey joined the office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon. She retired from the Navy in 1974. 

Rear Admiral Fran McKee attended the Naval War College as a Commander. She joined the Navy in 1950 and served assignments including instructor at naval schools command, mobilization and classification officer at Naval Air Reserve Training Command and officer-in-charge of the Naval Women Officers School before arriving as a member of the class of 1970. Promoted to Read Admiral in 1976, she retired from the Navy in 1981. McKee's student thesis is included as part of this exhibition.