No stopping a Jamaican woman — well done Petty Officer 2nd Class Reneese Miller
Reneese Miller

"…Wherever we turn, the history of woman is sad and dark, without any alleviating circumstances, nothing from which we can draw consolation." — Elizabeth Cady Stanton, women's rights activist

The author of the quotation above, Ms Stanton, the woman whose advocacy led to the women's suffrage movement that brought women the right to vote in the United States in 1919, might have found solace in the Jamaica Observer of yesterday — the 208th anniversary of her birth on November 12, 1815.

The newspaper story, based on an article by the United States Navy Office of Community Outreach, highlighted the outstanding Jamaican Petty Officer 2nd Class Reneese Miller, who travels the globe in service of the Navy's Airborne Early Warning and Control Squadron (VAW) 120.

Ms Miller, who hails from Clarendon and who graduated from Old Harbour High School, St Catherine, in 2010, is one of the elite women being profiled by the Navy, which is this year marking its 50th anniversary of women flying.

Over the past 50 years, the Navy says, it has expanded its roles for women to lead and serve globally and "today our women aviators project power from the sea in every type of Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard aircraft".

After leaving Jamaica, Ms Miller's drive to succeed led to a bachelor's degree in psychology from State University of New York at Old Westbury in 2018. She joined the Navy four years ago and serves today as an aviation structural mechanic.

Members of VAW 120, also known as the Greyhawks, fly and maintain the E-2C/D Hawkeye and C-2A Greyhound aircraft, which is known as the Navy's digital quarterback and which gives the war fighter expanded battle space awareness.

The Hawkeye's command and control capability makes it a multi-mission platform through its ability to coordinate concurrent missions, such as airborne strike, land force support, rescue operations, and support for drug interdiction operations.

Further explaining the importance of Ms Millers work, the Navy says that the Greyhound provides high-priority logistics support to carrier strike groups around the world, describing it as "a versatile support workhorse for the Navy for nearly 40 years", with the capability of taking off and landing aboard aircraft carriers at sea to deliver cargo, mail, and passengers, in addition to its tactical and search and rescue roles.

With 90 per cent of global commerce travelling by sea, and access to the Internet relying on the security of undersea fibre optic cables, Navy officials emphasise that the prosperity of the US is directly linked to trained sailors and a strong Navy.

"Ms Miller is part of a team that is taking on new importance in America's focus on rebuilding military readiness, strengthening alliances, and reforming business practices in support of the national defence strategy," the Navy says.

For her part, Ms Miller believes the skills and values needed to succeed in the Navy are similar to those found in Jamaica, noting that, "Growing up, I learned that whatever I'm doing I need to do it to the best of my ability, because you never know who is watching."

We know that all Jamaica is proud of yet another of our women who are flying the flag high and representing the best of us. Well done, Petty Officer 2nd Class Reneese Miller!

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