By: Sabrina Y.
From commanding the Seven Seas to receiving the admiration of dozens of Girl Scouts, it is so easy to see why the US Navy’s Rear Admiral Martha Herb is an exemplary role model for our country’s youth. On Friday November 8th, the Girl Scouts at Camp Timber Ridge were treated to a unique opportunity to listen and learn from one of our country’s heroes. I am very honored to have had the opportunity to meet with Rear Adm. Herb and to learn a little more about her incredible accomplishments.
As a native to Atlanta, she was happy to be visiting many organizations including our very own, Girl Scouts! Admiral Herb came to share stories about her unbelievable accomplishments while serving in the Navy, and how the Navy is a viable option and a great opportunity for women. At the event, the Admiral started off by asking what the girls were doing during the Katniss Weekend tent camp. Many hands shot up in the air, as the Girl Scouts grew excited to share with her all the fun and exciting things on their agenda. All of the answers were about daring and survival-like activities: camouflage, tree climbing, fire making and camping. Then, Admiral Herb asked why they were interested in participating in these activities. A Junior Girl Scout raised her hand, and replied, “Because people underestimate us.” By “us,” she is referring to girls and women all over the world.
Many think of girls or women as incapable of doing anything spectacular or out of the ordinary, but they can, just as the Rear Admiral has done. Admiral Herb also mentioned that if she had known of all the thrilling things Girl Scouts are involved in, she would have loved to join the Girl Scouts.
After the girls finished talking about their camp experiences, Rear Adm. Herb answered questions and she encouraged participation by rewarding the Girl Scouts with special gifts. Almost all the Girl Scouts had their hands raised! It was incredible to see that these girls were so impressed and fascinated by the Admiral that they just had to learn more about her and her career. Many great questions were asked, but the first question was concerning the ribbons on Admiral Herb’s uniform. She informed the Girl Scouts that the ribbons, similar to Girl Scout badges, are awarded for things or tasks that have been accomplished. Another question was about who or what motivated the her to join the Navy. Her answer; her mother encouraged her to look into opportunities in the armed forces, and because she loved swimming competitively, she decided to join the Navy. Rear Adm. Herb was passionate about diving and swimming, and was on many swimming teams.
Admiral Herb has enjoyed tremendous success, and she shared with the girls that her success was due to her hard work and determination. She encouraged everyone to take risks, work hard, and focus on education. Rear Admiral Herb holds a doctorate degree in education from George Washington University. She also became one of the first three women officers to graduate from the Naval School of Diving and Salvage in Washington D.C., and has been inducted in the Women’s Diver’s Hall of Fame. She mentioned that she has done the same type of diving that is featured in the movie Men of Honor.
In addition, it is so amazing to learn that she volunteered to participate in the Afghanistan conflict. Admiral Herb spent many months in Afghanistan. She did mention that one of her favorite memories while serving in Afghanistan was receiving U.S. care packages with boxes of Girl Scout cookies. She mentioned that the boxes of Girl Scout cookies were a great reminder of home and she was very thankful for those cookies.
So all Girl Scouts, please encourage people to help our troops by purchasing cookies to send them overseas. A small act, such as buying a box of cookies for our soldiers, makes a big difference.
After Admiral Herb answered many more questions, it was time for the girls to go to camp. They were all happy to receive small gifts for their smart questions, and for the time the Admiral spent with them. It was such a wonderful opportunity for the girls to learn from such an inspiring woman.
I am grateful to have met her, and have the chance to interview her. I am also honored that Admiral Herb presented me with her Navy coin. It was a special moment when she passed the coin to me, and I will cherish it forever, thank you Rear Admiral Martha Herb! Thank you for being such a kind-hearted woman, and a courageous role model to everyone.