Cork woman is first in Naval Service history to achieve rank of Chief Petty Officer

Cork woman is first in Naval Service history to achieve rank of Chief Petty Officer

Patricia O'Sullivan recently became the first woman in the history of the Naval Service to achieve the rank of Chief Petty Officer. Patricia is pictured receiving her new rank marking from her brother Donal.

PATRICIA O’Sullivan has become the first woman in the history of the Naval Service to achieve the rank of Chief Petty Officer.

The Cork native is very proud of her recent promotion. 

“It is a great honour. I am delighted. I kept my head down and worked hard. I have a positive attitude and I think that has helped bring me through,” the new CPO said.

Patricia, who joined the Irish Navy back in 1998, hopes her promotion to Chief Petty Officer will entice more females into the Naval Service.

 “It is very significant and pretty amazing. Hopefully, it will act as an incentive for other women. It shows there is a pathway which is encouraging. When I joined there weren’t as many females in the service. There has been an increase, but very slow at the same time. I would have hoped there would be more in the navy at this stage. It is a great career to pursue. I would encourage anyone thinking about it to join.” 

Ms O’Sullivan, who hails from Ballydehob, will be based full-time in Haulbowline. Among her, many remits will be taking charge of the electrical training for all the new recruits in the training centre. She is looking forward to starting in her new role. 

“It will be a very varied role. I will be in charge of the electrical training of all the recruits in Haulbowline. I enjoy what I do,” she added.

Patricia, whose brother Donal is also a member of the Irish Navy, is delighted she went on her ‘instinct’ and joined the navy. She credits the navy for providing her with so many positive experiences.

 “I joined at a young age and I was extremely immature. The navy really helped me mature. It felt great to feel part of something special. It is great for character building. It has been an amazing experience. I have great memories.” 

Among her most treasured memories were serving on migrant saving operations in the Mediterranean Sea onboard LE Samuel Becket, where she and her colleagues assisted in saving thousands of lives. 

“To be able to go out and help make a difference was brilliant. It was very tough but rewarding. It was a great experience and I will always treasure those great memories.”

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