Royal Navy makes history appointing first ever female Admiral

Royal Navy makes history as it appoints its first ever female Admiral: Military chiefs says move ‘shatters a century-old glass ceiling’ as 48-year-old says she expects many more women to reach rank

  • Jude Terry, 48, has become the first female Admiral in the Royal Navy’s history
  • She takes charge of Royal Fleet Auxiliary and is the Director of People and Training and Naval Secretary
  • Terry joined the Royal Navy in 1997 and says fact she is a women is ‘irrelevant’ 
  • Women have served in the Navy since the Wrens in WWI and at sea since 1990
  • The Royal Navy has ‘shattered a century-old glass ceiling’ by appointing its first ever female admiral.

    Jude Terry, who joined the force in 1997, will now be responsible for more than 40,000 regular and reservist sailors and Royal Marines.

    The 48-year-old has nearly 25 years’ service around the globe and in the UK and takes the helm as Director of People and Training and Naval Secretary. 

    She said the ‘numbers, breadth of talent and experience of women’ in the service means many more will reach the rank – and go even higher.

    Admiral Terry, from Jersey, is also in charge of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary – who operate the Navy’s crucial support ships – plus civil servants and contractors.

    Women have served in the Royal Navy since the Women’s Royal Naval Service – or ‘Wrens’ – in the First World War and have been going to sea since 1990.

    The Royal Navy has 'shattered a century-old glass ceiling' by appointing Jude Terry, 48, as its first ever female admiral. She joined the force in 1997 and takes the helm as Director of People and Training and Naval Secretary

    The Royal Navy has ‘shattered a century-old glass ceiling’ by appointing Jude Terry, 48, as its first ever female admiral. She joined the force in 1997 and takes the helm as Director of People and Training and Naval Secretary

    Jude said the fact that she is a woman is irrelevant to her post and rank – simply that ‘someone has to be first’.

    There are currently four female commodores – the next rank down – and 20 female captains.

    Admiral Terry said: ‘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’.

    First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Ben Key said 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.’

    Admiral Terry, from Jersey, is also in charge of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary - who operate the Navy's crucial support ships - plus civil servants and contractors. Pictured: Admiral Terry with Rear Admiral Philip Hally in the Great Cabin in HMS Victory at Portsmouth

    Admiral Terry, from Jersey, is also in charge of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary – who operate the Navy’s crucial support ships – plus civil servants and contractors. Pictured: Admiral Terry with Rear Admiral Philip Hally in the Great Cabin in HMS Victory at Portsmouth

    Since joining the Royal Navy in 1997, Admiral Terry has served aboard survey vessel HMS Scott, and spent two spells with helicopter carrier HMS Ocean, the latter as Commander Logistics during operations in the Baltic and Gulf.

    Admiral Terry also helped plan the withdrawal of UK fighting forces from Afghanistan – which involved reducing the footprint of 9,500 personnel to around 5,000.

    ‘It is an absolute honour and privilege to assume the post of Director People and Training and Naval Secretary today,’ Admiral Terry said.

    ‘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.

    Since joining the Royal Navy in 1997, Admiral Terry has served aboard survey vessel HMS Scott, and spent two spells with helicopter carrier HMS Ocean, the latter as Commander Logistics during operations in the Baltic and Gulf.

    Since joining the Royal Navy in 1997, Admiral Terry has served aboard survey vessel HMS Scott, and spent two spells with helicopter carrier HMS Ocean, the latter as Commander Logistics during operations in the Baltic and Gulf.

    Since joining the Royal Navy in 1997, Admiral Terry has served aboard survey vessel HMS Scott, and spent two spells with helicopter carrier HMS Ocean, the latter as Commander Logistics during operations in the Baltic and Gulf

    ‘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.’

    Admiral Terry joined the Navy as a 24-year old graduate and initially only planned to say for 8 years.

    At the time, no female officer had commanded a warship. There were few role models, and fewer still with seagoing experience.

    Terry said 8 years turned into 25 because ‘if you enjoy your job, you keep on doing it. I have been really lucky to have worked with some amazing people throughout my career and been supported by my family and friends and no two days are ever the same which is what I love about my job.’