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Fri, 03.25.1949

Lillian Fishburne, Navy Admiral born

Rear Admiral Lillian Fishburne

*Lillian Fishburne was born on this date in 1949. She is a Black Rear Admiral (RADM) and Administrator.

Fishburne was born in Patuxent River, Maryland and raised in Rockville, Maryland. She graduated from Lincoln University, Oxford, Pennsylvania in 1971 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology. She received a Master of Arts in Management from Webster College, St. Louis, Missouri in 1980. Fishburne was awarded a Master of Science degree in Telecommunications Systems Management from the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California in 1982.  Also, she is a 1993 graduate of the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, Fort McNair, Washington, D.C.

She was commissioned an Ensign upon completion of Women Officers School at Newport, Rhode Island in February 1973. Her first duty assignment was Personnel and Legal Officer at the Naval Air Test Facility, Lakehurst, New Jersey.  In August 1974, she was assigned to Navy Recruiting District, Miami, Florida as an Officer Programs recruiter until November 1977. From November 1977 to August 1980, Fishburne was the Officer in Charge of the Naval Telecommunications Center, Great Lakes, Illinois.

Next, she spent two years as a student at the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California. Upon completion of postgraduate school, she reported to the Command, Control, and Communications Directorate, Chief of Naval Operations (OP-940). There, she served as the Assistant Head, Joint Allied Command and Control Matters Branch until December 1984.

Her next assignment was Executive Officer, Naval Communication Station, Yokosuka, Japan. In February 1987, she was assigned to the Command, Control, and Communications Directorate, Chief of Naval Operations (OP-942) as a Special Projects Officer.  Her next duty assignment was Commanding Officer, Naval Computer and Telecommunications Station, Key West, Florida from July 1990 to July 1992.

Following this tour, Fishburne was a student at the Industrial College of the Armed Forces until 1993. Upon graduation, she was assigned to the Command, Control, Communications and Computer Systems Directorate, The Joint Staff, Washington, D.C., assuming the position as Chief, Command and Control Systems Support Division (J6C) in December 1994. In 1995, Fishburne assumed command of Naval Computer and Telecommunications Area Master Station, Easter Pacific, Wahiawa, Hawaii.

Fishburne was promoted to her rank of Rear Admiral (RADM) on February 1, 1998, making her the first black woman to hold this status in America. Currently, she is assigned as the Director, Information Transfer Division for the Space, Information Warfare, Command and Control Directorate, Chief of Naval Operations, Washington, D.C.

Other awards and decorations that RADM Fishburne has received include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal (two awards), Navy Commendation Medal (two awards) and the Navy Achievement Medal. RADM Fishburne and her husband, Albert J. Sullivan of Daytona Beach, Florida have one daughter, Cherese, age 17.

To Have a Military Career


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