Rear Admiral Kathleen Creighton is currently serving as Director For Command, Control, Communications And Cyber, U.S. Pacific Command.
Q: Why did you decide to join/serve the Navy?
A: I grew up near West Point and went to Army football games each fall. I went to the first parade of the football season in 1976 and saw female cadets march with the Corps of Cadets; I was 10 years old. I asked my father, "Do you think that I could be a cadet?" He said, "Absolutely; you can achieve anything you really want, and I will help you." I never forgot that moment. When I was a junior in High School, he helped me apply to several Service Academies and ROTC Scholarships. In the end, I chose the ROTC Scholarship; it was the right call for me. Once I started working in the field of communications and networks, I never considered doing anything else. Leading sailors is a privilege; it energizes me.
Q: Who have your role models or mentors been that have influenced you or helped to guide you?
A: I've had many mentors. My father as I mentioned above, as well as my husband, a retired Surface Warfare Officer, who ensured that I could have both a Navy career and children. My Commanding Officer at my first operational command who kept expanding my job by giving me more and more responsibility was another important mentor. Finally, my first female Commanding Officer showed me what it looked like for a female officer to lead a large organization.
Q: Please tell us a story about someone, perhaps in your family or otherwise, who has influenced you or challenged you to become more than you ever thought you might.
A: When I was applying to the Service Academies and for ROTC scholarships, there was a liaison officer who was actively discouraging the female students from applying. I thought that there was nothing I could do. My father reporting his actions to our Senator's office, and he was relieved of his position. Turns out there had been several other substantial complaints against the officer. It taught me not to let anyone treat you unfairly but present the facts in an unemotional manner.
Q: Please tell us which past assignments are the most memorable to you and why.
A: I've had the privilege to serve twice as an OIC and twice as a CO. I strongly believe that your Command Philosophy must be developed through experience. You have to own it.
Q: What does being a leader in the Navy mean to you?
A: To me leading is about bringing out the best in each member of your team, while creating an overall environment of trust and transparency.
Reprinted from the U.S. Navy’s All Hands Magazine: www.navy.mil/ah_online/