Swirling Women History Makers Vice Admiral Michelle J. Howard

Vice Admiral M Howard

Vice Admiral Michelle J. Howard

In honor of Women’s History Month, I wanted to profile a special swirling black woman.  I could not think of a more fitting role model, outstanding leader and phenomenal woman whose official title is Vice Admiral Michelle Janine Howard, three star ranked Deputy Commander of the United States Fleet Forces Command.  Having aachieved so many “firsts” for a woman, a black woman, her graduating class from the US Naval Academy (1982), and family life.

Howard was promoted to Rear Admiral (lower half), effective September 1, 2007 and to Rear Admiral, effective August 1, 2010. She was promoted to Vice Admiral on August 24, 2012.  When we go back a bit earlier, we find that in 1999, she became the first Black American woman to command a U.S. Navy ship, the USS Rushmore, a 15,000-ton assault vessel with a crew of 400 sailors and 350 marines trained for battle.  Among her great many military accomplishments and accolades, Rear Admiral Howard commanded the Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) 5; multinational counter-piracy Combined Task Force (CTF) 151, which directed the Navy’s rescue of merchant ship Maersk Alabama from Somali pirates in 2009.  Yes, the Navy Seals who blew the Somalian pirates out of the water — literally were under Howard’s command.  Vice Admiral Michelle Howard is committed to fighting piracy and the ESG was created to combat it.

Awesome is a word that barely describes her when you look at all Vice Admiral Howard has done in her illustrious career with the Navy.  Vice Admiral Michelle Howard has done Aurora, Colorado proud and she shines a positive light there despite the tragedy that happened on July 20, 2012 when James Holmes decided to indiscriminately open fire in a Century theater, killing 12 and injuring 70 people.

When I Googled Vice Admiral Michelle Howard, I spent a great deal of time reading through all the nice articles about this phenomenal lady.  I have included just a fewof the many links below.  She is one of many fine black women serving in the US Armed Forces.  Well Done!

Vice Admiral M Howard 1

Vice Adm. Michelle Janine Howard’s husband, Wayne Cowles, and her sister, Lisa Teitleman, change Howard’s shoulder boards during a ceremony  in Norfolk, VA when she became the first Black woman to attain a three-star rank. (MC1 (SW/AW) Rafael Martie, U.S. Navy)

I love love love this common sense and profound quote from Vice Admiral Michelle Howard:  “Once you have attained knowledge you cannot go back to ignorance.”

Vice Admiral Michelle Howard gives a short but motivating talk on women and minorities.


US Navy

Voyage To Discovery

Black Engineer

US Navy Seals (Blog)

Denver Post





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