NCBC appoints first woman to lead base emergency training operations

Updated: May. 9, 2020 at 6:02 PM CDT
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GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - A historic moment at the Naval Construction Battalion Center as for the first time a woman will take charge of the base’s key emergency training operations.

Katie Morrison has officially begun her role as the base’s new Installation Training Officer after 22 years in the security department.

“I got stationed here on the base in 1998 when I was still active duty at base security, and when my enlistment was up in 2002, I got hired on as a civilian," she said.

Morrison made history in 2019 as the first woman to earn the rank of major in the base’s security division. She leans on that experience to coordinate training for hundreds of people, primarily from her desk.

“Basically, it’s checking databases every day and sending emails out and making sure everyone is up to speed," she described.

Morrison is excited to still be hands-on in the development of emergency procedures.

“I mean, we do everything. Active shooters, IED situations, hostage situations," she explained. “It’s kind of like producing a small movie, I guess, because we write scripts, and we kind of plan out the timeline of the events we want to see happen.”

Whether on the ground or in the office, Morrison believes every scenario carries valuable life skills. Her new post includes working with local first responders and law enforcement agencies to be prepared for real-life catastrophes.

“You have to go into it 100%, this is a real-life situation in order to get the effect of training and then to key in on the lessons learned," she said.

Morrison noted that women are often outnumbered on base, but support from her colleagues over the years helped her never feel like an outsider. She offered advice to other women looking to climb the ranks.

“Do your time, you know. Each job that you do, do it to the best of your ability and always try and do a little bit extra and never stop learning," Morison said.

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