Adm. Santems on her appointment to
Chief of the Staff of the Security Forces
|Nickname(s)||Jaque della Attaque|
June 19, 1952 |
Miroul, Martilles, Burgundie
|Service/branch||Burgundian Security Forces, Navy|
|Years of service||1971-present|
|Unit||High Command of the Security Forces|
Jaqueline Santems is the current Chief of the Staff of the Security Forces in Burgundie, a post she has held since 2026.
Jaqueline Santems (nee Carzac), was born in Miroul, Martilles to Paul-Bernard and Leslie Carzac, both upper-middle-class bank managers at Martilles Maritime Bank and Sailor's Credit Union National, respectively. She went to the prestigious Paulus Country Day School in Miroul and graduated with high marks. After her year in the Standardized Militia program, she joined the Navy of Burgundie as a reserve Midshipman. After completing her second year of service she was granted a spot at the Burgundie Maritime Academy, in Vilauristre, with a focus in Maritime Law and Navigational Leadership. Upon her graduation in May of 1975, at age 23, she was commissioned as an Ensign in the Navy of Burgundie and given an assistant command in the Punthite Fleet Command aboard the BNS Endeavor, a small coastal patrol boat.
The BNS Endeavor was an all-female vessel, as the navy was still segregated by gender. The female seamen, known collectively as the ‘’Battling Belles’’ had a vicious reputation. Since they had been allowed into the Burgundian Security Services after the Great Cronan War, they had fought to compete with their male counterparts and to prove themselves. Jaqueline was in the third wave of Belles, but their trajectory was still being developed. After 10 years, the most senior female in the navy was still only a Commander and Jaqueline had set her sights much higher.
After two years of the Endeavor, Jaqueline was promoted to Lieutenant Junior Grade and given an assistant command of the frigate BNS Rapide. After distinguishing herself after the death of the commanding officer in the Battle of TBD, she gave a brevet promotion to Lieutenant and given command of the Rapide. Under her command, the Rapide was distinguished and honored three more times and became the most decorated ship in her class. Jaqueline declined the ceremonies, stating, “Until this war is won, I deserve no recognition.” This impressed the Great Prince who was constantly surrounded by hob-knobbing and attention seeking officers. He sent her a personal correspondence, thanking her for her service and dedication.
With the favor of the Great Prince, she was soon promoted directly to Commander and given command of the light missile destroyer BNS Harbinger. The missile destroyers were new to the Burgundian arsenal and to be given a command was considered quite an honor. It was 1979 and Jaqueline was moving faster than society and policy were at the time. She wrote to her superior officers requesting to be allowed an exemption to the gender segregation policy and to build a meritocratic command staff, without regard to gender. It sparked a veritable war in the Naval High Command, but it cemented her name in Burgundian naval history.
Jaqueline in Government
Her commanding officer immediately relieved her of her command of the Harbinger and attempted to get her dishonorably discharged. He was blocked but Jaqueline was not given a new command. She was added to the reserve list and she ran for local office as the representative of Miroul at the Municipal Assembly of Martilles. She championed Miroul and was able to make it a political powerhouse, despite being one of the smaller cities in Martilles. She formed a coalition of inland coastal cities and towns and was able to pass their agenda without resistance in the spring of 1982. Her youthful energy and mature drive gained her the moniker ‘’la Mademoiselle Capitale’’, in reference to her likely rise to national governance. After completing her third term in office she petitioned to be reinstated as an active-duty commander. Her request was denied under the pretense of her “previous insubordination”. She then went on a campaign to desegregate the entire military using her own experience and those of other progressive thinkers in the Security Services and government. She founded the ‘’Association of Veteran Patriots for the Betterment of National Security’’. The organization became very popular overnight and the traditionalist hardliners in the military’s various high commands found itself pushed further and further into a corner. Of particular note was that the association wrote all of its press releases and wrote its speeches in such a manner that it made it difficult to refute their aims without sounding as though the military valued tradition over effectiveness. In 1985 the Security Services relented and most units, with the exception of the Foreign Legion, were desegregated. The trade-off was that there would only be one training curriculum and advancement criteria. Therefore, women suffered greatly in the selection process and their percentage of the total military population dropped from 5% to .75% from 1985-1997. Jaqueline took the victory and applied for active duty one more time.
This time she was reinstated.