ABC7 Salutes: Groundbreaking veteran who became 1st woman to lead a US Navy ship fleet

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- ABC7 is saluting distinguished Navy Vice Admiral Nora Wingfield Tyson, the first woman to lead a United States Navy ship fleet.

Nearly a decade ago, the 41st president of the United States, George Herbert Walker Bush, honored Tyson with her second star. The special ceremony took place aboard the USS George H. W. Bush aircraft carrier.

The promotion was one of many for Admiral Tyson. She also has a laundry list of firsts for a woman in the armed forces, including the first women to command the Third fleet in the U.S. Navy.

"It's basically the Western part of the United States out to the International Date Line," said Tyson. "It was about a 120 ships, about 400 aircrafts... (and) about 60,000 people."

Admiral Tyson says the road to her historic success had a lot to do with timing, along with a steadfast determination to be the best at anything she aspired to accomplish.

"When polices and laws changed, I had the opportunity to do things that women had not had the opportunity to do before," said Tyson.

Admiral Tyson retired from the Navy in 2017 with a more than 38-year distinguished career. She also retired with three stars, one star below the highest rank for an admiral in the U.S. Navy.

She lives by the following motto:

"Give everybody the same opportunity early on and either they can hack it or they can't, and then let the cream rise to the top," said Tyson.

Admiral Tyson says the advice she'd give any young woman today is simple: "Follow your dreams. There's nothing you can't do."
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