CHESAPEAKE BAY, Va.— Courtney Kittrell loves her hair, makeup and the latest fashion trends. She also loves the respect her sailors give her as a senior chief petty officer in the U.S. Navy. This profound respect didn’t come easy for the vivacious homosexual woman of color; it was earned through determination, hard work and a never-give-up attitude. As a woman in the Navy, she faced tests, trials and tribulations at every stage. She confronted misogyny in the military’s boy’s club, chauvinism, insults and a demeaning work environment. Pushing herself beyond her limits, she had to prove herself daily to receive the respect of her male colleagues. Courtney Kittrell is a native of Greensboro, North Carolina and a 20-year veteran with the United States Navy. Her military experiences have made a mark on her life through personal and leadership struggles.
Courtney has deployed onboard USS DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER, USS JOHN F. KENNEDY, USS ENTERPRISE, and USS GEORGE H. W. BUSH. Her journey has taken her to many countries including Spain, Portugal, England, Turkey, Bahrain, Dubai, Israel, Italy and scores of other places.
Courtney is a leader of many and a friend to all. She has been motivated to be a voice for others who are battling depression, suicidal thoughts, and mental health issues. She lives with her wife, Tiffany R. Barber, and their dog, Dreyfuss, in Chesapeake, Virginia.