Accessibility links

Breaking News

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>&nbsp;</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.&nbsp; Michelle Howard was promoted Tuesday to the level of four-star admiral.&nbsp; Michelle Howard received her fourth star at a ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery with her family and other service members looking on.&nbsp;</p> <p>&quot;If you don&#39;t believe today was the first - when I called to order, a four-star shoulder board for women - they didn&#39;t exist.&nbsp; [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.&nbsp; Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus was the one who promoted Ms. Howard.</p> <p>&quot;The Navy picked the best officer to be the VCNO (vice chief of naval operations).&nbsp; That&#39;s the only thing that happened here today.&quot;</p> <p>The promotion of Ms. Howard to four-star admiral is historic.&nbsp; It is a promising sign for military women hoping to move up in a career traditionally dominated, or controlled, by men.&nbsp;</p> <p>But making history is something Admiral Howard has done all during her military career.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>Michelle Howard graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1982.&nbsp; And since then, she has won many historic &quot;firsts&quot; in her career.&nbsp; She is the first African-American woman to gain three-star rank in the U.S. Armed Forces.&nbsp; She also is the first African-American woman to command a naval ship.&nbsp; And now, she is the first woman to become an admiral in the Navy.&nbsp;</p> <p>Chief of Naval Operations Jonathan Greenert says the honor of being the Navy&rsquo;s &nbsp;first 4-star woman admiral means something else for Ms. Howard. &nbsp;He says that she is ready to set an example for many young women, or as he puts it &ldquo;bear the burden of a role model.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;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.&rdquo;</p> <div class="tag_image tag_image5 floatLeft selected" contenteditable="false" mode="img|expand|3C5F9BF9-73C0-4B7F-BBBF-EB2CC8F2A618.jpg|5|floatLeft|||1">&nbsp;<img src="" />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.&nbsp; She was in the Pentagon, the Defense Department headquarters, on September 11, 2001 when terrorists crashed a plane into that building.&nbsp;</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.&nbsp; Somali pirates had kidnapped Captain Phillips from the ship, which carries the American flag.&nbsp; She says she was very new to her job when the incident took place.&nbsp; &nbsp;</p> <p>&quot;I was just three days in the job when we got word that Captain Phillips had been kidnapped.&quot;</p> <p>American women serving in the military have broken many barriers in recent years.&nbsp; They can compete these days for positions that once were closed to them.&nbsp; 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.&nbsp; 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&rsquo;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">&nbsp;<img alt="" src="../../img/spacer.gif" title="This is just placeholder, it will be replaced on public site." /></div> <p></p>