After 253 years, Norfolk Naval Shipyard Welcomes First Female Commander

After 253 years in operation, the Norfolk Naval Shipyard has hit a new and very important milestone. They have recently welcomed a new commander, and this is the first time they’ve ever had a female commander for the shipyard in its entire history.

Captain Dianna Wolfson is now the 110th commander of the Norfolk Naval Shipyard. Before transferring here, she was also the first female commander of the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility in Kitsap County, Washington.

Before she was the commander at Puget Sound, Capt. Wolfson also served as an operations officer and project superintendent for the engineered overhaul of the USS Newport News (SSN 750). Her experience also includes a surface warfare qualification earned during her service aboard the USS George Washington (CVN 73) from 1998 to 2001 and aboard the USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) from 2007 to 2009. She served as an assistant project super intendent, docking officer, and nuclear zone manager at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine, from 2004 to 2007.

Photo: US Navy

“One phrase I will use often because I truly believe in its importance is ‘One Mission, One Team,'” says Wolfson. “We have one mission—to forge every opportunity to preserve our national security and gain a competitive advantage to be the shipyard our Navy needs through our exceptional, safe, timely, and cost-conscious delivery of our warships. Together, we are in the mission of relentlessly chasing best performance in the stewardship of our nation’s naval assets.”

At her new post in Norfolk, Capt. Wolfson will focus on four key areas: leadership performance, organizational culture, employee development, and mission execution. She will be overseeing various changes, such as an upgrade to the facilities and the modernization of the ship repair technology.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Peretz Partensky

“Captain Wolfson is truly the right leader at the right time for NNSY,” says departing Shipyard Commander Rear Admiral Howard Markle in the news release. “Her deep sense of care and commitment to our Navy and the NNSY workforce will be at the forefront of meeting the shipyard’s priorities of developing our people and delivering on our mission.”

With her extensive experience and background, we know Capt. Wolfson will make an excellent commander at Norfolk. It’s so great to see women stepping into and exceeding in skilled leadership positions like this one.

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