I recall the original article very well, having had the same experience as Wendy, Barb and others, in terms of how that article was used to launch discussions or legitimize actions.
On the other hand, Sec Webb opened up thousands of officer and enlisted jobs previously closed to women. I was the first woman in seven different billets/commands, never had a woman above me in the chain of command until my final tour in the Navy, and she was the planet's first 3-star admiral. Most of those newly-opened jobs were shoreside. Part of that was driven, I understood at the time, by the challenge of attracting qualified men in the aftermath of the Vietnam War into the still-new all-volunteer force. It was a staffing issue as well as a societal issue.
The line officer women who went in large numbers to non-traditional jobs at naval stations, communications stations, recruiting and personnel commands, computer and data commands, and restricted line in intelligence, crypto, EDO and other areas, and staff roles in Supply, JAG, etc. laid the foundation for the communities open to women today. Their success and rising to command created the weight on the doors opening for the first women in ships in the late 70's and lifting of the combat vessel/aircraft restriction in 1996. More and more doors have opened reflecting civilian society changes.
Reading some of the comments on the current article shows there are still a lot of nasty (to me) undertones in the spectrum of opinions.
I am not a USNA grad, so I will leave this to the grads to debate the rightness or wrongness.
I hadn't realized USNA had not named any female grads as Distinguished Graduates, just assumed they had. I am mulling that one.