Kettering native makes history as Navy’s first female ‘Chief of the Boat’

KETTERING — A Kettering native is making waves and history in the United States Navy.

Master Chief Information Systems Technician (Submarine) Angela Koogler became the first female chief of the boat in U.S. Navy history on Aug. 22.

Koogler found about about the decision to make her chief of the boat aboard a submarine last year, but officially joined the crew of the USS Louisiana (Gold) (SSBN 742) in late August., according to a release for the Navy Office of Community Outreach.

The Navy described the chief of the boat as an enlisted Sailor who serves as the senior enlisted advisor to the commanding officer and executive officer of a submarine.

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Through her 20 years in the Navy, Koogler said she’s been met with challenges.

“But you just have to keep going. There are going to be walls you have to knock down, but you can’t let them stop you,” she said.

Koogler credited her motivation and success to her mother, the released stated. She said watching her mother work and help others through her 33 years in civil service as an employee at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base inspired her to do the same.

“I’ve always kind of been a go-getter and hard charger,” Koogler said. “My mom was like that. She was a hard worker and it was just instilled in me as a child.”

Koogler said once she joined the Navy in 2002, she knew she found the career she’d have forever.

The Navy Office of Community Outreach noted that women weren’t always allowed to serve in the submarine force. In 2011, female officers began serving on U.S. Navy submarines and Koogler was up for the challenge.

“Every time I was up for orders, I was always looking for something different and challenging,” Koogler said. “Then when it was announced that enlisted women could apply for submarines, with some encouragement from my Sailors, I went ahead and applied.”

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Koogler reported to her first submarine in May 2016

Submarine Squadron 19′s Command Master Chief Travis Brown said he knew Koogler would be the “perfect” candidate to become the first chief of the boat.

“In 36 months, she walked off a submarine as a qualified diving officer of the watch, and everything in between, while also learning how to lead submarine Sailors,” Brown said.

Koogler said that gender should play no factor in Sailor roles.

“We need to keep breaking down the barriers so that it just becomes all Sailors,” Koogler said in the release. “A Sailor is a Sailor to me and we shouldn’t have to define their gender. It’s important to integrate everybody and it shouldn’t matter as long as they get the job done.”

While this new position is historic, Koogler has set her eyes on her dream to one day serve as a command master chief.