Vice Admiral Michelle Howard made history when she became the first female in the Navy to receive a fourth star ranking of full admiral.
Howard currently serves as deputy chief of naval operations for operations, plans and strategy. President Obama nominated Howard for the ranking.
“Someday, sure, there’ll be a woman CNO,” she presciently told Time nearly 14 years ago, when she was commanding the USS Rushmore, an amphibious dock landing ship, out of San Diego. “It will happen of its own accord.” Howard steps up during a demanding time for the Navy, trying to pivot to the Pacific amid a funding crunch that has the service scrambling. “The best ambassador,” she likes to say, “is a warship.”
Howard, a 1982 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, is used to breaking glass ceilings, as she did when she assumed command of the Rushmore in 1999. “Harbor pilots are surprised overseas,” she said at the time. “In Australia, the reaction was tremendous, especially from the women—`Oh good for you, we need to do this in our country!’ The men were: `Well, m’am, we don’t see your type around here.’”
According to the latest demographic report released by the Pentagon, 14.5% of active-duty military personnel are women. Women represent 13.5% of the Army, 16.4% of the Navy and 19% of the Air Force.
Women account for just 6.8% of the Marine Corps, whose highest-ranking woman achieved three stars before retiring earlier this year.
Congratulations to Admiral Michelle Howard on becoming the first 4-star female admiral!
Thoughts on the achievement?
Do you think that more women will be offered the ranking now that the barrier has been broken?
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