Honorable Admiral Michelle Howard
April 30, 1960
First African American woman to be an Admiral in the US NAVY history.
The U.S. Navy has promoted Vice Adm. Michelle Howard to admiral, making her the first female four-star officer in the Navy’s 236-year-history. She will become deputy chief of naval operations, plans and strategy. Spouse: Wayne Cowles Education : Gateway High School, United States Naval Academy Awards: She is the recipient of the 2008 Women of Color Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) Career Achievement Award, 2009 Dominion Power Strong Men and Women Excellence in Leadership Award, and the 2011 USO Military Woman of the Year. On February 1, 2013, Howard was honored with the “Chairman’s Award” at the 44th NAACP Image Award. She is a 1987 recipient of the Secretary of the Navy/Navy League Captain Winifred Collins Award.
Admiral Howard was born on April 30, 1960 to veteran U.S. Air Force master sergeant Nick Howard and Phillipa Howard. She is a 1978 graduate of Gateway High School in Aurora, Colorado. 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. She took command of USS Rushmore (LSD 47) on March 12, 1999, becoming the first African American woman to command a ship in the U.S. Navy. Howard was the commander of Amphibious Squadron Seven from May 2004 to September 2005. Deploying with Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) 5, operations included tsunami relief efforts in Indonesia and maritime security operations in the North Arabian Gulf. She commanded Expeditionary Strike Group Two from April 2009 to July 2010. In 2009, she deployed to CENTCOM theater, where she commanded Task Force 151, Multi-national Counter-piracy effort, and Task Force 51, Expeditionary Forces. In 2010, she was the Maritime Task Force commander for BALTOPS, under 6th Fleet.
Her shore assignments include: J-3, Global Operations, Readiness and executive assistant to the Joint Staff director of Operations; deputy director N3 on the OPNAV staff; deputy director, Expeditionary Warfare Division, OPNAV staff; senior military assistant to the secretary of the Navy; Chief of Staff to the director for Strategic Plans and Policy, J-5, Joint Staff, deputy commander, US Fleet Forces Command, and Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Operations, Plans & Strategy (N3/N5).
She will assume duties as the 38th Vice Chief of Naval Operations