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President taps woman admiral

Michelle Howard to become first four-star female Navy exec

OW Staff Writer | 12/20/2013, 11:51 a.m.
Michelle Howard

Michelle Janine Howard has been nominated by President Barack Obama for an appointment to the rank of admiral and assignment as vice chief of naval operations. This appointment will make Howard the first female four-star admiral.

The appointment must be confirmed by the full Congress. There is speculation that a vote could take place within the next few months.

Last year, Admiral Howard received the NAACP’s Chairman’s Award during the 44th NAACP Image Awards.

“This is a historic and well-deserved appointment for Admiral Howard,” stated Roslyn M. Brock, chairman of the NAACP National Board of Directors. “Admiral Howard serves as a true inspiration for women, particularly women of color, in the military and across the nation. We look forward to her continued service to our country as a four-star admiral.”

Howard is a 1978 graduate of Gateway High School in Aurora, Colo. She graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1982 and from the Army’s Command and General Staff College in 1998, with a master’s in military arts and sciences.

On March 12, 1999, Howard became the first African American woman to command a ship in the U.S. Navy.

From May 2004 to September 2005, Howard was the commander of Amphibious Squadron Seven. Deploying with Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) 5, operations included tsunami relief efforts in Indonesia and maritime security operations in the North Arabian Gulf.

Howard is the recipient of several awards for her service. While serving on board Lexington, she received the secretary of the Navy/Navy League Captain Winifred Collins award in May 1987. Howard is also the recipient of the 2008 Women of Color Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) Career Achievement Award, the 2009 Dominion Power Strong Men and Women Excellence in Leadership Award, and the 2011 USO Military Woman of the Year.