News / USA

US Navy Promotes First Woman to 4-star Admiral

US Navy Promotes First Woman to 4-star Admirali
X
July 02, 2014 4:26 AM
For the first time in its 236-year history, the U.S. Navy has a woman as its second-highest ranking officer. Michelle Howard was promoted Tuesday to a four-star admiral and assumed her new duties as vice chief of naval operations. Zlatica Hoke reports that Howard has made history throughout her military career.
Zlatica Hoke

For the first time in its 236-year history, the U.S. Navy has a woman as its second-highest ranking officer. Michelle Howard was promoted Tuesday to a four-star admiral and assumed her new duties as Vice Chief of Naval Operations (VCNO).

Howard received her fourth star at a ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery with her family and fellow servicemen looking on. 

"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," said Howard.

Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus was the promoting officer.

"The Navy picked the best officer to be the VCNO. That's the only thing that happened here today," said Mabus.

Since 1982, when she graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy, Howard has achieved many historic "firsts" in her career. She was the first African-American woman to achieve three-star rank in the U.S. Armed Forces, as well as being the first woman to achieve the rank of admiral in the Navy. She also was the first African-American woman to command a naval ship.

Chief of Naval Operations Jonathan Greenert said the honors mean extra obligations.

“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,” said Greenert.

Howard was in the Pentagon during the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack, and in 2009 participated in the naval task force dispatched to rescue the U.S.-flagged merchant vessel Maersk Alabama and its captain Richard Phillips, who had been kidnapped by Somali pirates.

"I was just three days in the job when we got word that Captain Philips had been kidnapped," recalled Howard.

American women serving in the military have broken many barriers in recent years, and can compete for positions that were once were closed to them. Howard said her promotion can serve as further encouragement.

"My rank today lets them know that they can go from junior enlisted to MCPON (master chief petty officer) in the Navy or from ensign to admiral," said Howard.

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

“We, as a Navy and as a nation, have just got to quit wasting the talent and the ability based on race or gender or anything else," said Mabus.

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

You May Like

Reports of Mass Murder on Mediterranean Smuggler’s Boat

Boat sailed from Libya with 750 migrants aboard and arrived in Italy with 569 More

Video New Thailand Hotline Targets Misbehaving Monks

Officials say move aims to restore country’s image of Buddhism, tarnished by recent high profile scandals such as opulent lifestyle, drug and alcohol abuse, as well as child sex abuse More

Study: Dust from Sahara Helped Form Bahama Islands

What does the Sahara have in common with a Caribbean island? Quite a lot, researchers say More

Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Astronauts Train in Underwater Labi
X
George Putic
July 25, 2014 7:25 PM
In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid