One of the first female officers to serve aboard two U.S. Coast Guard cutters with all male crews will highlight the experiences of women veterans in a program sponsored by the Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs and the University of Louisville’s Commonwealth Center for the Humanities and Society.
Retired Capt. Martha Kotite will present “Telling Their Stories: A Celebration of Women Veterans” at 6 p.m., Wednesday, March 22, at Chao Auditorium in UofL’s Ekstrom Library. Veterans advocate Heather French Henry will emcee.
Admission is free but RSVPs are needed by email at email@example.com. The Kentucky veterans affairs department also will furnish parking for the first 100 people who RSVP.
Kotite will discuss the importance of the female veteran experience and its significance in relating military history, drawing upon the stories she collected in writing five books: “Changing the Rules of Engagement: Inspiring Stories of Courage and Leadership from Women in the Miltary,” “My Name is Old Glory: A Celebration of the Star-Spangled Banner,” “Legacy: A History of the Coast Guard Foundation,” “So Others May Live: Coast Guard’s Rescue Swimmers” and “Innovators: Rock Stars of STEM”. The program will conclude with a book-signing event with Kotite.
For more information, visit the event website.
About Martha Kotite
Kotite’s leadership style empowered her to be one of the first female officers to serve aboard two Coast Guard cutters with all male crews. Patrolling the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans as well as the Caribbean Sea, she remained true to herself while changing the rules of engagement.
A graduate of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy with a masters from Harvard University, Kotite rose to the senior rank of captain and is an award-winning author of five books. Her presentations are influenced by her 29-year career serving at sea and ashore and the courageous trailblazers she has profiled in her books.
Kotite earned numerous personal and team awards for her mobilizations during national disasters, missions saving lives at sea and work as a public relations spokesperson for the Service, the Commandant’s Press Secretary and as a New York City public relations firm’s account director for IBM.
Kotite lead the Coast Guard’s development of emergency crisis management liaisons across the FEMA regions and nation. She deployed on scene for significant national events like the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and numerous catastrophic hurricanes including Sandy and Maria. Hand-picked by the Commandant, she worked in Washington as the Commandant’s Press Secretary and served at sea on a cutter sailing the Pacific Ocean and as executive officer of a patrol boat patrolling the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea. Today, she lives in Florida with her family.