Michelle Howard (1960) made history when she became the first woman of any race to become a four-star admiral in the Navy. She also happens to be the first woman to be appointed vice chief of naval operations (the second-highest rank in the Navy) and is the highest-ranking woman in the Navy’s 239-year history. She was the first African-American woman to reach the rank of three-star and four stars in any branch of the U.S. Armed Forces. And Michelle Howard is the first African-American woman to command a ship in the Navy, the USS Rushmore, in 1999.
Howard is a 1982 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and has been a ground-breaking leader in the United States military for 35 years. Today we honor Admiral Michelle Howard for her dedication and perseverance in a field where women have had to prove themselves every step of the way. She is a hero and She Made History.