Fort Collins Sends First Female Submariner

Twin Sisters Graduate From Naval Academy

For twin sisters from Fort Collins, it is time to learn how to survive without the other. Marquette and Tasha Ried are embarking in a new chapter in life, and after 22 years together, they are taking different paths and one is making history.

For the first time in more than a century, women will be allowed to serve on submarines. Marquette Ried will be one of them.

For 22 years, the sisters said they have basically been inseparable.

"It is going to be a challenge," said Tasha Ried, "but I think it is going to be a good challenge. I think it is time that we start having some of our own identity."

The young women returned to their home in Fort Collins late Thursday night. A week ago, the pair graduated from the Naval Academy.

"It is an amazing feeling to actually be going and serving our country," said Marquette Ried.

Both girls will be serving; however, they are taking different paths. Tasha Ried will be taking to the skies.

"I would love to fly fighters," said Tasha Ried. "Fighter jets, F18s, F35s. I love being up in the air."

Marquette Ried said she tried flying but didn't enjoy it. So when the opportunity to serve on a submarine became available, she took the challenge, although she had never even been on one before.

Marquette Ried will be one of 11 women from the Academy who will serve on submarines.

"It is always a challenge (to) change," said Marquette Ried. "There is always going to be some anxiety around it, but I think as long as we step on board and do our job to the best of our ability, we are going to fit right in. I don't see it being a major deal at all."

Congress voted to allow women on submarines just weeks before the Rieds graduated.

"I was really looking for early leadership opportunities out of the academy -- the small unit, cohesive leadership, but also the technical side," said Marquette Ried. "I have a very technical brain. I was an aerospace engineer."

For these twins, being first is nothing new. They were part of the first high school graduating class from Fossil Ridge High School in Fort Collins. Tasha Ried skated for the first female hockey team at the Academy. The two are also the first in their family to join the military.

The twins celebrated in Annapolis and had another party at their Fort Collins home Friday night.

Tasha Ried said she won't get much time off. She will report for her first duty back at the Academy on Thursday and then will head to flight school in September.

Marquette Ried said she has about a month at home before she will head off to a ballistic missile ship.