Friday, July 4, 2014

United States: First African-American 4-Star Admiral Becomes Vice Chief of Naval Operations

According to The Christian Science Monitor, Michelle Janine Howard on Tuesday (July 1) became the first woman to rise to the rank of four-star admiral in the Navy’s 238 year history.  

She received her fourth star at a ceremony held at the Women in Military Service for America Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery. 

The Navy lagged other services in promoting a woman to four-star rank. Both the Army and Air Force had previously done so.

Admiral Howard has been credited with a number of firsts in her career. In 1999, she became the first African-American to command a ship in the Us Navy. That distinction came when the US Naval Academy graduate took command of the USS Rushmore, a dock landing ship.

Along with her fourth star, Howard was named vice chief of naval operations, the second-ranking uniformed person in the Navy. She becomes the first African-American and the first woman to hold that position.

COMMENT: According to THE WASHINGTON POST, one of Admiral Howard’s most notable assignments was commanding Task Force 151, which oversaw counter-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden.  

Factually, Howard helped devise a plan to free Captain Phillips. The SEAL team eventually shot and killed three pirates who were holding Phillips on a small lifeboat.

At her promotion ceremony, Howard’s boss, Admiral Jonathan Greenert USN noted that “Michelle’s many trailblazing accomplishments during her 32 years of naval service are evidence both of her fortitude and commitment to excellence and integrity.”