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Gen. Michelle Howard
*Michelle Howard was born on this date in 1960. She is a Black Navy admiral.
Michelle Janine Howard was born in March Air Reserve Base, California, U.S., the daughter of former U.S. Air Force master sergeant, Nick Howard, and his British wife, Phillipa. She is a 1978 graduate of Gateway High School in Aurora, Colorado. She graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1982 and from the U.S. Army’s Command and General Staff College in 1998 with a master’s in military arts and Sciences.
Howard was the first Black woman to command a U.S. Navy ship, the USS Rushmore and the first to achieve two- and three-star rank. In 2006, she was selected for the rank of rear admiral (lower half), making her the first admiral selected from the U.S. Naval Academy class of 1982 and the first female graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy selected for flag rank. In 2014, Howard became the first woman to become a four-star admiral.
As Vice Chief of Naval Operations, which she began that same day, she was the first Black and the first woman to hold that post. Howard also became the first female four-star admiral to command operational forces, when she assumed command of U.S. Naval Forces Europe and U.S. Naval Forces Africa. Howard currently serves as the commander of U.S. Naval Forces Europe while she concurrently serves as the commander of U.S. Naval Forces Africa and commander of Allied Joint Force Command Naples. She previously served as the 38th Vice Chief of Naval Operations. She assumed her current assignment on June 7, 2016.