A chief petty officer has become the first woman to earn the Navy‘s “silver dolphins,” signaling an enlisted sailor qualified to serve aboard a submarine.

Chief culinary specialist Dominique Saavedra will deploy aboard the nuclear-powered guided-missile submarine Michigan in coming months, the first sub to deploy with a crew including enlisted female sailors.

According to an announcement from Submarine Group 9, out of Puget Sound, Washington, Saavedra received her pin at a ceremony Tuesday, marking a major milestone for female sailors.

“I couldn’t be more proud to wear the ‘dolphins,’ ” Saavedra said in a statement. “To have earned the respect of my fellow submariners is more rewarding than expected. I am honored to serve as a qualified member in such a prestigious community.”

The Michigan is undergoing a maintenance period at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard that will wrap up this summer. A spokesman for Submarine Group 9, Lt. Cmdr. Michael Smith, said a specific timeframe for deployment has not been made clear.

Read more at Military.com

Image courtesy of Kenneth G. Takada