Malrieta Clauson

As Interviewed by Miles Richardson, March 21, 2019

Malrieta Clauson: In Her Own Words

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Hello, this is Miles Richardson, and this podcast is a recorded interview with my grandmother, Malrieta Clauson, who served in the Navy from 1973 to 1977. I have documented some of her most interesting views on her experience as a women in the Navy, and some of the dangers that she faced.

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There was a tornado that hit the front of our building, and pulled the whole front facade off the building, and at the time my name was Cantwell, so they were calling “Cantwell!” “Cantwell!” -- but I couldn’t hear them because I was in a simulated helicopter. [She has her name and a photo of herself with a description of this event up at the National Women’s Monument in Washington D.C.]

My worst experience was this Chief Haus, who would call me into his office and chew me out and say that women shouldn’t be in the Navy and tell me that I was taking up men's billots, that means jobs. He would make me cry almost every time I had to go into his office.

Admiral Zumwalt was putting women in men's rates, and my rate was radarman, but I wanted to be an aerographer where you see the weather and learn about the weather and give me a leg up on being a weather girl, but they said, “You can watch the weather on the radar.” But there wasn’t any real weather, it was just simulated radar.

I had to make coffee for the crew, and the crew would come in and say I was taking up their shore duty billets, meaning that I was taking up their shore duty time.

Yeah, I think I would go back and do it all again, because, like I said, it taught me discipline, it taught me respect for the flag, and for the country, and I felt like I would die for America if I had to.

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