Noon to 1p.m., Building 76 / Main Floor

Location: National Museum of the US Navy, Building 76, Washington Navy Yard, DC

In recognition of both International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month, the museum presents an in-person interview with Senior Chief Hospital Corpsman Jessica Zugzda—the Navy’s first female mortician promoted to Senior Chief Petty Officer (E-8). Only one other Navy mortician—a man—had earned this rank before.

Most Sailors know little about Navy morticians—a specific enlisted job classification within the hospital corpsman (HM) rating. These professionals provide dignity, integrity, reverence for fallen service members, and, more importantly, a sense of closure for grieving families.

Join Museum Education Specialist David Barker as he interviews Zugzda about her path to naval service, what her current job entails, and her thoughts on making naval history.

Zugzda is currently assigned to U.S. Air Force Mortuary Affairs Operations at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware, where she and her team oversee the dignified transfer of remains for fallen service members.

Note: This program is for Washington Navy Yard base personnel, CAC holders, and active duty and retired military members. It will be recorded and shared on the museum’s Facebook page on a later date. For more information about this program, email the National Museum of the U.S. Navy at

Woman in Navy uniform standing in front of U.S. Navy flag.

Senior Chief Hospital Corpsman Jessica Zugzda. (Photo by Tom Minto/U.S. Navy)