Officer discusses Navy mission and 18-year career

Articulate, passionate, and armed with masters and bachelors degrees in mechanical engineering, Lt. Cmdr. Pamela (Rawe) Bou is a sterling example of the modern U.S. Navy.

Bou, who has family in the area, was in Marshalltown Tuesday speaking about the contemporary Navy and its mission before the Noon Kiwanis Club at the Frank L. Glick American Legion Hall.

And Bou’s message was clear: The Navy is a high-tech, effective fighting force on guard 24/7 to protect the U.S. and allies worldwide.

Be it fighting terrorists to helping victims of hurricane-ravaged Hati to apprehending drug smugglers, the Navy has the personnel and skill set to meet the task.

Bou is a public affairs officer with the Office of Community Outreach, based in Millington, Tenn.

She is in her eighth year in that position, having originally been commissioned a surface-warfare officer with a nuclear speciality. Bou served approximately eight years learning her craft in Nuclear Power School while serving on two ships among related assignments.

“I actually met my husband in Nuclear Power School … the most romantic place in the world of course,” she said.

Joking aside, Bou said one of her main responsibilities is planning Navy Weeks around the U.S. and helping fellow sailors deliver messages before service clubs and others on the home front.

“About eight years in I did a complete career shift,” she said. “And many people would think that would be a waste of training, but thankfully, many other people think it is excellent to have someone who can translate engineering and Navy experience to many others.”

Bou urged youth to “do their best in school and other endeavors,” because one will never know how knowledge or experience can be applied usefully later in life.

The Noon Kiwanians were one of several stops Bou was planning to make while on leave.

Bou visited the Marshalltown High School Key Club Monday.

A visit to the Iowa Veterans Home on Tuesday and Matins (Morning) Kiwanis Thursday were also on the agenda.

Bou’s family is from Haverhill, but they moved to Jerseyville, Ill., where she grew up. However, they returned for family events regularly.

Bou was married at Haverhill’s Immaculate Conception Church in 2003.

In addition to her mother, most of the family remained in the area, and a brother and cousins attended Marshalltown schools.

Accompanying Bou during presentations was her mother, Sheila Rawe of Haverhill.