According to the White House, yesterday The U.S. Navy promoted Vice Adm. Michelle Howard to admiral, making her the first female four-star officer in the Navy’s 236 year history.
Adm. Howard, who will be the first African American woman to command a Navy ship, will become deputy chief of naval operations, plans and strategy, according to a White House spokesman.
It’s the latest achievement for Howard, who previously was the first African American woman to serve as a three-star officer in the U.S. military and in 1999, she became the first African American woman to command a Naval ship, the USS Rushmore. Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said her promotion is a “representation of how far we have come, and how far she has helped bring us.”
The Army and Air Force each have named four-star female officers in the past. The first one in the military, Army Gen. Ann Dunwoody, retired in 2012, after serving as a four-star general for nearly four years.
“One of the things I’ve thought about is how different companies harness innovation and engender creativity. Some of it is how you bring together a team, when you look at the importance of diversity and creating diverse ideas,” said Howard.