ARLINGTON, Va. (NNS) — The United States Navy Vice Admiral Michelle Janine Howard earned promotion to the rank of four-star admiral today during a ceremony at the Women in Military Service for America Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery. Admiral Howard is now the first female four-star in the 238 year history of the United States Navy.
Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus presided over the ceremony and administered the oath of office. “Michelle Howard’s promotion to the rank of admiral is the result of a brilliant naval career, one I fully expect to continue when she assumes her new role as vice chief of naval operations, but also it is an historic first, an event to be celebrated as she becomes the first female to achieve this position,” said Mabus. “Her accomplishment is a direct example of a Navy that now, more than ever, reflects the nation it serves – a nation where success is not borne of race, gender or religion, but of skill and ability.”
“Michelle’s many trailblazing accomplishments in her 32 years of naval service are evidence of both her fortitude and commitment to excellence and integrity,” said Adm. Jonathan Greenert, Chief of Naval Operations. “I look forward to many great things to come from the Navy’s newest 4-star Admiral!”
Howard, the Deputy CNO for Operations, Plans, and Strategy, will relieve Adm. Mark Ferguson III as the 38th Vice Chief of Naval Operations (VCNO) later this afternoon. Howard is a 1978 graduate of Gateway High School in Aurora, Colo. She graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1982 and from the Army’s Command and General Staff College in 1998, with a Masters in Military Arts and Sciences.