8/16/2016 – Member Paula Neira ’85 to Co-Sponsor USNS Harvey Milk (T-AO-206)

Paula Nira ’86

It is with great excitement to share that the Secretary of the Navy has announced that Senator Diane Feinstein and USNA Out founding member Paula Neira ’85 are the co-sponsors of the USNS HARVEY MILK (T-AO-206). The ship’s sponsor is a ceremonial position to bestow good luck and divine protection over the ship.

The “Naming Ceremony” will take place at 2 pm, Tuesday, August 16th on the “great lawn” of Treasure Island, San Francisco.

Paula was a member of the Class of ’85. After graduation with distinction, she became a surface warfare officer. She entered the reserves at the end of her obligated service, but volunteered for active duty serving on a minesweeper during Operation Desert Storm.

After resigning her commission, Paula continued her education in nursing and in law, becoming a member of the Maryland Bar Association in 2002.

Paula was a relentless leader in the fight agains the former policy knows as “DOn’t Ask, DOn’t Tell.” After the repeal, she continued her important work towards transgender service.

Paula was the first transgender veteran to win the right to have her military records changed to reflect their correct names and gender. This past May, Paula was inducted into the SLDN Hall of Heroes.


General Dynamics NASSCO was awarded a $3 billion contract by the U. S. Navy in June for the detailed design and construction of the next generation of fleet oilers, the John Lewis-class (TAO-205). This contract is for the construction of six ships. The U.S. Navy’s FY2017 budget requests advance procurement for the HarveyMilk, with procurement expected to occur in FY2018.

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