October 30, 2014 13:41 UTC

As It Is

US Navy Promotes First Woman to 4-Star Admiral

Admiral Michelle Howard is the first four-star Admiral in the U.S. Navy.
Admiral Michelle Howard is the first four-star Admiral in the U.S. Navy.

<div class="tag_image tag_audio_plain" contenteditable="false" mode="audio|plain|428803">U.S. Promotes First Woman Admiral<img alt="" src="../../../img/spacer.gif" title="This is just placeholder, it will be replaced on public site." /></div> <p> </p> <p>The U.S. Navy now has a woman as its second-highest ranking officer for the first time in its 236-year history.  Michelle Howard was promoted Tuesday to the level of four-star admiral.  Michelle Howard received her fourth star at a ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery with her family and other service members looking on. </p> <p>"If you don't believe today was the first - when I called to order, a four-star shoulder board for women - they didn't exist.  [A] special contract was let and you folks are seeing the first set in the history of the United States Navy.</p> <p>Admiral Michelle Howard is beginning her new duties as vice chief of naval operations.  Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus was the one who promoted Ms. Howard.</p> <p>"The Navy picked the best officer to be the VCNO (vice chief of naval operations).  That's the only thing that happened here today."</p> <p>The promotion of Ms. Howard to four-star admiral is historic.  It is a promising sign for military women hoping to move up in a career traditionally dominated, or controlled, by men. </p> <p>But making history is something Admiral Howard has done all during her military career.  </p> <p>Michelle Howard graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1982.  And since then, she has won many historic "firsts" in her career.  She is the first African-American woman to gain three-star rank in the U.S. Armed Forces.  She also is the first African-American woman to command a naval ship.  And now, she is the first woman to become an admiral in the Navy. </p> <p>Chief of Naval Operations Jonathan Greenert says the honor of being the Navy’s  first 4-star woman admiral means something else for Ms. Howard.  He says that she is ready to set an example for many young women, or as he puts it “bear the burden of a role model.” </p> <p>“She will bear the burden of a role model, and she is ready to bear that very well, and I am very excited about that because we need lots more women in the Navy.”</p> <div class="tag_image tag_image5 floatLeft selected" contenteditable="false" mode="img|expand|3C5F9BF9-73C0-4B7F-BBBF-EB2CC8F2A618.jpg|5|floatLeft|||1"> <img src="http://gdb.voanews.com/3C5F9BF9-73C0-4B7F-BBBF-EB2CC8F2A618_r1_w268.jpg" />A helicopter flies over the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001. The Pentagon took a direct hit from an aircraft.</div> <p>​</p> <p>In her career, Ms. Howard has been a part of several important events in U.S. history.  She was in the Pentagon, the Defense Department headquarters, on September 11, 2001 when terrorists crashed a plane into that building. </p> <p>And in 2009, Ms. Howard was part of the naval force sent to rescue the merchant ship <em>Maersk Alabama </em>and its captain Richard Phillips.  Somali pirates had kidnapped Captain Phillips from the ship, which carries the American flag.  She says she was very new to her job when the incident took place.   </p> <p>"I was just three days in the job when we got word that Captain Phillips had been kidnapped."</p> <p>American women serving in the military have broken many barriers in recent years.  They can compete these days for positions that once were closed to them.  Ms. Howard says her promotion can encourage, or help, other women gain their career goals in the military.</p> <p>Admiral Howard is the third woman in the U.S. military to gain four-star rank.  One is in the Army and the other in the Air Force.</p> <p>Officials from all military services have announced plans to open combat positions to women who meet physical or performance requirements by 2016.</p> <p>I’m Anna Matteo.</p> <div class="tag_image tag_snippet" contenteditable="false" mode="infographics|plain|1898663|||dictionary-word-lookup-v2" querystring=""><img alt="" src="../../img/spacer.gif" title="This is just placeholder, it will be replaced on public site." /></div> <p></p> <div class="tag_image tag_quiz plain" contenteditable="false" mode="quiz|plain|1949528"> <img alt="" src="../../img/spacer.gif" title="This is just placeholder, it will be replaced on public site." /></div> <p></p>

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by: Gauthier from: Lille, France
07/08/2014 7:59 PM
Hello everyone !!

I didn't well understand this part of the text.

" If you don't believe today was the first - when I called to order, a four-star shoulder board for women - they didn't exist. [A] special contract was let and you folks are seeing the first set in the history of the United States Navy. "

Especially for : " was let you folks are seeing the first set "

Thanks you Folk's ;)

In Response

by: Moderator
07/08/2014 8:06 PM
Sure. Let me see if I can help.

When Admiral Howard spoke, she left out some words as we often do when we speak. And quotes come from a larger speech; so, you lose some of the context to help you understand what is being said.

"If you don't believe (that) today was the first (time a woman was promoted to four-star admiral) - when I called to order a four-star shoulder board for women -- they didn't exist." (Meaning, she could not buy a four-star shoulder board for women because there has never been a four-star woman admiral.)

"A special contract was let" simply means that a she needed a special contract to order her four-star shoulder board. "Let" here is a military term. We civilians don't say that. We would say a "special contract was granted."

"And you folks (people) are seeing the first set (of four-star shoulder boards for women) in the history of the United States Navy."

As a whole, Admiral Howard is making a joke. And a point. The point is that part of her uniform was not available because no woman has achieved this high of a status.

It is useful to remember that military (and even para-military people like police and fire fighters) sometimes speak differently than civilians in certain situations.

I hope that helps!

Anna.

In Response

by: Gauthier from: Lille, France
07/08/2014 8:58 PM
I get it now, it helped me.

Thank you very much, it's kind of you.

Good continuation to you Anna !

Gauthier.


by: Bố mày from: VIETNAM
07/07/2014 2:23 PM
In her career, Ms. Howard has been a part of several important events in U.S. history. She was in the Pentagon, the Defense Department headquarters, on September 11, 2001 when terrorists crashed a plane into that building.

And in 2009, Ms. Howard was part of the naval force sent to rescue the merchant ship Maersk Alabama and its captain Richard Phillips. Somali pirates had kidnapped Captain Phillips from the ship, which carries the American flag. She says she was very new to her job when the incident took place.

"I was just three days in the job when we got word that Captain Phillips had been kidnapped."

American women serving in the military have broken many barriers in recent years. They can compete these days for positions that once were closed to them. Ms. Howard says her promotion can encourage, or help, other women gain their career goals in the military.

Admiral Howard is the third woman in the U.S. military to gain four-star rank. One is in the Army and the other in the Air Force.

Officials from all military services have announced plans to open combat positions to women who meet physical or performance requirements by 2016.


by: Ivan from: Russia
07/06/2014 10:33 AM
In my opinion, article has mistake or inaccuracy. In US army four-star admiral / general is not second-highest rank.
In fact, General of Army (five-star officer is a second-highest rank) is second-highest rank, because General of the Armies is above. Americans! You should remember your brave national hero - George Washington and John J. Pershing! )))


by: Dr. Frank Harper, PhD from: Decatur Ga
07/05/2014 7:24 PM
What an accomplishment. Congrats Admiral. What a role model for the WORLD!!


by: BIJU.P.Y from: SOUTH INDIA
07/05/2014 3:22 PM
Admiral Michelle Howard has every reason to be proud of being the first 4-star Navy Admiral of the United States, the mightiest military power on the Earth. I think she must have got it through her hard and sincere work. By doing so, she has set an example for other adventurous women to worth copying her. She has added another feather to her royal Navy cap. Thank you.


by: Seongdong Park from: S. Korea
07/05/2014 4:55 AM
Every article used to have font size controller ( -,+ ). I would like to know why you don't have the system.
The recording of this articlr is very lousy. I think somebody has
to be sacked. What about that?


by: Waner from: Dom Rep
07/05/2014 1:09 AM
It is great to see a woman receiving this kind of honors

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