Cristina Bermudez

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U.S. Navy, Petty Officer Second Class, 3 tours overseas onboard USS Chung-Hoon DDG 93; 13-year veteran

Power of Being Female: Entrepreneur and owner of L.A.’s Tina Colada Boutique shares,  “Although I am very proud of many significant milestones in my life: serving in the military and attaining a Master’s Degree, the biggest milestone has definitely been launching my small e-commerce business. I am proud to be a woman who is changing narratives and cycles in my own family and community to continue changing social norms for a better future for all women.”

Years Served: 2003-2016 (2003-2011-Active Duty, 2012-2016 Reserves)

Rank: E-5

Military Occupation: Logistics Specialist and Corrections Counselor

Tours Overseas Served and Locations: Three 6-9 month deployments overseas onboard the USS Chung-Hoon DDG 93.

Most rewarding, memorable experience in service (if as a woman, please mention): I remember very clearly in 2007, I was stationed onboard a Navy Ship. My specific division was only 5 of us. I was the only female. We went through a transition of leadership within our division. It was a very challenging time for us, as we lost our division leader and the rest of us were new to the military in terms of experience in that role. I was terrified because I was very young at that time but I took on the role of the division leader. I had never felt so overwhelmed and fearful of failing my team/division but I did it and as a result, I received a meritorious promotion. That was probably the highlight of my career in the military. I had other aspirations in life beyond the military but that particular experience really set the bar for being more confident and not being afraid to take on leadership roles. As the only female in the division, I had never felt more powerful. Favorite beauty routine (specify if it’s related to feeling good in uniform). Makeup is sort of frowned upon in the military (lol) and I love wearing makeup. Back in my day, all of this contouring full-face stuff did not exist. There were no tutorials and there was no youtube. lol. But for me, mascara and blush are a must!! I always made sure at the very least I did that to look professional and presentable.

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Civilian Occupation and/or collegiate accolades: BS in Business Management from FIDM(Fashion Institute for Design and Merchandising). Master’s Degree in Business from USC.

Any statements about being a woman in uniform or the Power of Being Female (the uniqueness of it, the opportunity): It’s been very interesting to me to see/hear the response when I tell people I am a Military Veteran. As I aforementioned, I am very feminine and love wearing makeup. doing y hair, I did go to a fashion institute, so I am very creative with my overall style. To me, style is art and the way you choose to express yourself. So, with that being said, being a Veteran but also having a deep love and connection with fashion and art is a very interesting combination. I literally have been told many many times; I would have never guessed you served in the military quote; You don’t look like a typical woman in the military; which most times I chuckle or laugh about but I never take offense to any statement regarding me being a Veteran. It has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I am eternally grateful for that experience.

 

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