Thursday, March 4, 2010

In Case You May Have Forgotten - Captain Kathleen McGrath - awesome Naval officer. Sorely missed by family and Shipmates !


USS Jarrett (FFG-33) is the first ship of that name in the US Navy. She was also the first US Navy warship to be commanded by a woman, Commander Kathleen A. McGrath, from 18 December 1998 until 4 September 2000. By all counts, she was a superb Commanding Officer and went on to make Captain. I was certain that she would make Flag. I was deeply saddened that she passed away from lung cancer before that happened. She is buried (appropriately) in Arlington National Cemetary.

In March 2000, Mark Thompson, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, wrote an excellent article about her in TIME Magazine. You can read it HERE.

Unfortunately, nearly 10 years later (to the day almost), he was forced by circumstances to write about a less successful female commanding officer, Captain Holly A. Graf - HERE.

Sex, race, religion, ethnicity are not determining factors in successful command tours - character, competency and charisma - are a bit more important.

I love this quote from CDR McGrath's Executive Officer at the time, "She's not in command because she's a woman," says her second-in-command, Lieutenant Commander Joseph Chiaravallotti. "She's in command because she's better than everyone else who's not in command." But as McGrath has proved herself, most of the doubters have come around. McGrath's crew seems generally impressed with her.


Chaps said...

“May God give you...For every storm a rainbow, for every tear a smile, for every care a promise and a blessing in each trial. For every problem life sends, a faithful friend to share, for every sigh a sweet song and an answer for each prayer.”

Anonymous said...

Captain Lambert,

Not many Sailors ever referred to a Navy Frigate as a ship that was sexy and glamorous but Captain McGrath did. She took command of that ship and made the Navy, women and Sailors proud. She did more than she was required to do, and the Navy is a better place for that.

Very Respectfully,

Anonymous said...

I had the pleasure of serving with then LCDR McGrath, and the displeasure of serving with then LCDR Graff. 180 degrees out.

Gene said...

I was unaware that she had passed on. How sad. I was in SWO Basic in Coronado as a young Ensign, where Captain McGrath (then LTjg) was a class leader in many ways. I remember her as one of those competent people that did not have an overbearing ego, despite her many successes. Hopefully, many of those who served under her took notes and learned from a great naval officer. I agree that she will be sorely missed by many. Thanks for the information and the opportunity to comment.

With great respect and admiration for one of the best,

Gene S.
CDR USN (Ret.)

Anonymous said...

Capt. McGrath was my CO on the USS Recovery. By far, she was the best CO I ever had. I was saddened to read about her death. What a shame to be taken so young.

Unknown said...

I served with her on U.S.S Jarrett. Personally I couldn't stand her. She stuttered a lot. She had never commanded a warship. And I think it was a mistake. That ship was amazing before her. We had a mustang officer who knew the life of an enlisted man and treated his crew with respect.