DCHS alumnus Bella Smith makes Navy history

Elyse Perry, editor

On Sept. 3, DCHS alumnus Bella Smith graduated from Navy basic training at Great Lakes, Illinois. Bella, along with her class, made history as the first ever all female staff division with a female saying the divisions report to graduate from Navy basic training.

Bella started basic training on June 30, 2021. She made her way to the naval training facility in Great Lakes, Illinois along with the around 70 other women in her staff division, the 904. Bella spent ten weeks at basic training before graduating. Over the course of basic training, the division’s motto became “Pain is temporary.” During basic, she was unable to speak to anyone outside of her division. That meant no family or friends at home. According to Bella, “It was hard, but I got through it. We learned to never give up because there is always something on the other side of the pain.” Bella and her division were able to graduate after finishing their final test and passing basic training.

The 904 marked the first time in Navy history that an all female division had a female saying the division’s report. This means that it was the first time a division has said, “All present and accounted for, ma’am.” Until now, it has always been “sir.” With this graduation, it has been further proven that women leading women in the military can be done, and it will continue to be done in the future. This division is an exciting step towards women leading in both the Navy and other military branches.

After basic training, Bella was sent to Fort Lee in Virginia. She has been there since graduation and will stay there until she ships out to either Hawaii or Connecticut for submarine school. Her ultimate goal is to become a Culinary Specialist Submarines, or a CSS. Once she graduates from submarine school, she will be in charge of the mess halls and food for the submarine she is placed on.