"Retired Coast Guard Capt. Joanne McCaffrey was asked to speak at a Women's Equality Day luncheon held at the academy Friday because of her role in initiating the service's Care of Newborn Children program in 1991, which expanded to today's Temporary Separation Program.
The program allows service members to temporarily leave the Coast Guard for up to two years to pursue growth or other opportunities and then return to active duty.
Feeling "tremendously guilty" that she was the only mom in the Cleveland neighborhood where she lived leaving for work in the morning and that she left the office each day "with all of the lieutenants still there," she wrote a letter asking if she could leave active duty for "a while" with the promise of returning later." ... See MoreSee Less