Rear Admiral Jude Terry has taken on the role of director of people and training and naval secretary and is now responsible for more than 40,000 regular and reservist sailors and Royal Marines – as well as the Royal Fleet Auxiliary.
Women have served in the navy since the Wrens of the First World War and have been going to sea since 1990.
And the 25-year naval veteran feels she won’t be the last woman to rise to the top in the navy, with four females already serving as commodores and a further 20 as captains.
‘The world has changed in terms of what people want from life and careers, whatever their gender, and the navy needs to work to modernise our organisation to support this change – a diverse and inclusive workforce is a better place for all but is also proven to deliver better outcomes,’ she said.
First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Ben Key said Rear Admiral Terry is ‘a great example of all the amazing women serving today – and a role model for all who serve and those who follow’.
She said it was an ‘absolute honour’ to take on the new role and added: ‘Our people and their families are at the heart of our ability to deliver on operations abroad and in the UK.
‘I look forward to leading my team in supporting them, using modern approaches, helping us all to be the best we can be, and building on the work already done by my predecessor.
‘Last week, when Vice Admiral Hine left as Second Sea Lord, he said: “You should strive to leave the Service in a better place than you found it”. I’m aiming to build on what we’ve done already to continue to do that.’