Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Michelle Howard is First Woman and African American Four-Star Admiral in the US Navy

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ADMIRAL MICHELLE HOWARD is the very first woman in the 239 years history of the US Navy to reach the rank of a Four-Star Admiral. And she's an African American.

Admiral Howard has faced critics who say she was promoted for political reasons rather than merit, a notion that both Mabus and Greenert were quick to dismiss in their remarks.

"Michelle has put in a tremendous career," Greenert said. "Thirty-two years of mainstream, at-sea, tough tours. Michelle came up through the amphibious expeditionary warfare arena and came into [Washington] and did the hard jobs that needed to be done. And so she is definitely ready to assume this position, there is no question in my mind."

A 1982 Naval Academy graduate, Howard has achieved many firsts in her career. She was the first black woman to command a ship — the amphibious dock landing ship Rushmore in 1999 — and went on to command Amphibious Squadron 7 and later Expeditionary Strike Group 2.

At a Tuesday ceremony marking her promotion to four-star and her assuming duties as the Navy's number two officer, Howard thanked her family and her fellow officers in front of a crowd of about 100 for their support over the years.

During her speech she reflected on the shared history of the Fourth of July weekend, saying that sailors embody the spirit of independence forged then and thanked sailors for the privilege to lead them.

"If you don't believe today was a first, when I called to order four-star shoulder boards for women, they didn't exist. A special contract was let, and you folks are seeing the first set in the history of the United States Navy," Howard said.

Congratulations Admiral Howard!!!

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