US Navy: First Female to Receive Rank of Admiral

Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) Ray Mabus promoted Vice Adm. Michelle Howard to the rank of admiral at the Women In Military Service For America Memorial.


Along with being the first female to be promoted to Admiral, Howard will be the first female to assume the position of Vice Chief of Naval Operations.

Throughout her career Howard has achieved many firsts. She was the first African-American woman to command a U.S. Navy warship, the first female graduate of the Naval Academy to achieve the rank of rear admiral, and the first African-American woman to command an Expeditionary Strike Group at Sea.

Howard experienced yet another first when she called to order four-star shoulder boards for women and realized that they didn’t exist. The set placed on her uniform by SECNAV and her husband, Wayne Cowles, was the first set in the history of the U.S. Navy.

Howard relieved as VCNO Adm. Mark E. Ferguson, who is slated to become the commander of Naval Forces Europe-Africa and Allied Joint Forces command in Naples, Italy.

Press Release, July 02, 2014; Image: US Navy

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