Captain Anne Cullerre, 54, is set to become the French navy's first female commodore with sea-going experience. There has been just one female commodore in the French navy before and that was Chantal Desbordes 10 years ago, but she had spent her whole career feet firmly on land as the navy at the time did not allow women to serve aboard ships. They were first allowed aboard ships in 1993.
Anne Cullerre. Photo credit: French navy
Cullerre on the other hand, who's name is on the list of those who will be given the rank of commodore in 2012, has spent at least 10 years on-board ships and has been captain of two of them, the Lapérouse and the D'Entrecasteaux which are oceanographic vessels and thus unarmed, but play a vital role in the fight against pollution at sea.
Cullerre has also served aboard the Somme which was the headquarters for the chief of staff of the Indian Ocean fleet and has taken part in anti-picracy, anti drug-trafficking and anti-terrorism missions.
“I've not been hindered in my career because I am a woman,” she says, adding that “I haven't had the time to be a hard-core feminist!”
Cullerre is married and has a son.