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Darlene Marie Iskra

Commander, US Navy

First female commander of a commissioned naval vessel

Darlene was one of the first female line officers to graduate from the Naval School of Diving and Salvage in 1980.  She assumed command of USS OPPORTUNE in December 1990 in Naples, Italy, becoming the first woman commander of a commissioned naval vessel. She also served on several Navy staffs. Her highest award was the Defense Meritorious Service Medal.  She was also awarded the Center For Teaching Excellence, Distinguished Teaching Assistant for Academic Year 2003-2004 and the Charles H. Coates Graduate Research Award, University of Maryland, 2000-2001, for her Master’s thesis, which documented the continued negative discourse regarding women in the Navy over time. She received her PhD in December 2007, and worked as the Deputy Director for the Leadership Education and Development Program at the University of Maryland, College Park until May 2010.


Learn more at the following links:

  • Time Magazine Bio and Links to Articles


  • Military Women Bio


  • North Kitsap Herald Article


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