Lansing Native Blazes Trails for Women in the Navy

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Michigan native Petty Officer 1st Class Christine Adams works every day at making the world a better place. Originally from Grand Ledge, this amazing woman started her career as a student at Lansing Community College (LCC); now she is currently working as a naval air crewman at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md. and is responsible for testing and evaluating the latest aircraft systems.

Adams graduated from LCC with an associate’s degree in international studies and later graduated from Central Michigan University with a degree in clinical science. She joined the Navy in 2007 at Recruit Training Command (RTC) Great Lakes, then relocated to Florida where she completed her schooling for the Navy.

Her first command was in Hawaii where she flew on the P-3 Orion. She was deployed to the Middle East twice and supported Japan during the 2011 tsunami and Fukushima nuclear accident. She eventually moved to Patuxent River where she is currently stationed.

“What I do now is test equipment that will work with the war fighting fleet, ensure that it works and does what it needs to do,” said Adams. “I listen for submarines in an airplane and we try to find bad guys.”

The Navy branch of the military is commonly associated with protecting the seas versus land and air, but that is not always the case.

“I’ve never been on a ship my entire life,” she said. “The plane that I fly in can’t land on aircraft carriers easily so I’ve only toured a battleship from WWII and that was the closest I’ve gotten to a ship.”

A “normal workday” is far from routine for Adams.

“It’s not a 9 to 5 job, definitely not,” she said. “It can be as early as 3 in the morning or as late as 10 at night when we start our work.”

Throughout the shift she prepares and takes off for flight to complete the missions that are required for testing and evaluation. Afterward, the issues are noted and written down so the companies supplying the equipment know what they need to work on, according to Adams.

Her favorite part of the job is the travel and culture she has the opportunity to witness. Her two favorite places she has visited to date are Singapore and Central America.

“When I was [in Singapore], the whole place smelled like orchids,” she said. “In Central America we had some time off. We went to an orphanage, like a school, and we gave out school supplies and toys. To see the happiness on their faces is very memorable.”

One piece of advice Adams has to offer to anyone attempting to reach their goals is to never give up, because “working hard is not really just a phrase.”

“There are going to be good days and there are going to be bad days, but when you put in the work it pays off,” Adams said.

She enjoys the work that she does and the life she lives and would not change her past or current career path for anything.

“It’s a fun career. There’s not many women in it. I wish there were more. Sometimes I think it can be a little intimidating. But I absolutely love it.”


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