As one of the first women selected for sea duty, Rear Adm. (Sel.) Pottenger reported aboard USS Yosemite (AD 19) in July 1979, where she served as Engineering Division Officer and completed a Mediterranean deployment. She was assigned to Commander, Service Group Two as staff communications officer in June 1980, deploying in support of exercises in the Atlantic Theatre.
In June 1982 Rear Adm. (Sel.) Pottenger reported to the USNA as the 25th Company Officer. Surface Warfare Department Head School followed, where she was selected for the Admiral Arleigh Burke Leadership Award. Rear Adm. (Sel.) Pottenger then reported aboard USS Yellowstone (AD 41) as the Operations Officer, completing a second Mediterranean deployment.
Accepting a Reserve commission in August 1986, Rear Adm. (Sel.) Pottenger first served as an officer recruiter, and then as CO of NRC Mare Island, Calif. She returned to sea duty in July 1991 as XO of USS Kiska (AE 35), completing a Middle Pacific deployment.
Rear Adm. (Sel.) Pottenger then reported in March 1993 as Deputy Chief of Staff for Manpower for COMNAVSURFRESFOR, New Orleans, La., where she implemented a national automated selection board system for Reserve unit command positions. In March 1996, Rear Adm. (Sel.) Pottenger assumed command of USS Shasta (AE 33). She completed the final three months of a western Pacific deployment and two subsequent Middle Pacific deployments. Rear Adm. (Sel.) Pottenger then proceeded to command of NMCRC San Diego, Calif., the largest Naval Reserve training facility in the country.
In 1999 she transferred to the OPNAV staff at the Pentagon, where she served first as the Reserve Liaison Officer and subsequently as the EA for Director, Surface Warfare (OPNAV N76). Rear Adm. (Sel.) Pottenger assumed duties as CO, USS Bridge (AOE 10) in June 2001, and during an extended deployment in support of OEF, resupplied ten battle groups and amphibious ready groups as well as dozens of coalition ships. Her ship received the Battle “E” and the 2002 Arleigh Burke Fleet Trophy in recognition of their accomplishments. She reported as the EA to DCNO (Resources, Requirements & Assessments) (OPNAV N8) in October 2002, and assumed duties as EA for Vice Chief of Naval Operations in August 2003. Upon selection to flag rank she reported as Deputy Chief of Navy Reserve.
Rear Adm. (Sel.) Pottenger has been awarded three Legions of Merit, three Meritorious Service Medals, two Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals, and various other personal, unit and service awards.
Updated: 3 November 2004