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Photo Courtesy of Davina Lee.

Davina Lee accepts certificate for the United States Navy.

Davina Lee – Navy

November 10, 2019

Eagle Eye: When and why did you decide to join the military?

Davina Lee: “I enlisted into the Navy on July 12, 2016. I tried the college route, but it wasn’t for me. I heard the Navy was starting to allow women to join the submarine force for the first time in it’s 116 years, so I jumped on the opportunity and became the second woman in U.S. history to enlist as a submarine IT as a first contract. They allowed officers and ‘fleet returnees’ to cross rate, but I was a part of the first group of women to make history and prove that women are just as capable as men.”

EE: Why did you choose the branch of the military you are in?

DL: “I initially wanted to join the Air Force because of my Grandfather’s past service. I met with recruiters and realized it wasn’t the right fit. My friend Miranda Walsh, also class of 2015, convinced me to talk to a Navy recruiter. That’s when I found out about submarines.”

EE: Tell us a little bit about your basic training experience.

DL: “I arrived in Chicago right before Christmas of 2016. It was -20 outside with a -40 windchill. Since it was winter in Chicago, most of our time was spent inside getting yelled at and doing push-ups. I met a lot of great people that I’ve maintained friendships with. Honestly, I had a lot of fun. It was difficult and stressful, but it was still fun.”

EE: If you are in active duty, what is your experience so far?

DL: “I am no longer on active duty, but the experiences I had were some of the best in my life. The command wasn’t used to women, so there was a lot of trial and error in figuring out what to do with us. We helped pave the way for the women that would follow. I got very sick before I could make it to my submarine, so I had to remain on shore duty. Instead of being overcome with disappointment, I decided to become a mentor for the sailors that followed. I spent the rest of my time Active Duty as ‘mom’ to the other sailors and I’m so incredibly proud to see them in the fleet now.”

EE: What advice would you give for students thinking of joining the military?

DL: “If you’re thinking of joining, just go for it. It’s a huge step, but it’s worth it. Take it seriously. It’s easy to get comfortable and allow yourself to slip up, but keep your goals in mind and never stop working toward them.”

EE: What are your future goals? What specific job in your branch do you hope to do?

DL: “I’m not on active duty anymore, but my goal is to still be a mentor to the sailors. I live in base housing with my husband, so I’m still around active duty sailors on a daily basis. My home is open to those who need support, a friend, a home cooked meal, and somewhere to decompress. This holiday season, I am opening my home to sailors without family nearby to celebrate and eat plenty of food. It’s important to take care of those that serve. Since I am no longer serving my country, I hope to give those serving a home away from home.”

EE: Anything else you’d like to add?

DL: “Don’t be afraid of the unknown. Embrace it. If things don’t turn out the way you want them to, don’t give up. Make the best out of what you have. My time in the Navy was the best in my life. You meet so many incredible people and get to set yourself up for the future. It’s an incredible opportunity. Joining the Navy was the best decision I could have possibly made for myself. Specifically the submarine force. We’re a big dysfunctional family and I wouldn’t trade it for a single thing.”

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About the Contributor
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Lindsey Walk, News Editor

Hello there! My name is Lindsey Walk and I am a senior this year at TAHS. This is my second year being involved in Eagle Eye and I am so excited to be...

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