Friday, 24 May 2013


          BLACK  SOCIAL  HISTORY                             
VADM Michelle Howard 2012.jpg
Howard in August 2012
Birth name Michelle Janine Howard
Born April 30, 1960 (age 53)
March Air Force Base
Riverside County, California, U.S.
Allegiance  United States of America
Service/branch United States Navy
Years of service 1978–present
Rank US-O9 insignia.svg Vice Admiral
Unit Deputy Commander, United States Fleet Forces Command
Commands held USS Rushmore (LSD-47)
Amphibious Squadron 7
Expeditionary Strike Group Two
Task Force Two Zero
Battles/wars Persian Gulf War
Awards US Defense Superior Service Medal ribbon.svg Defense Superior Service Medal (two awards)
Legion of Merit ribbon.svg Legion of Merit (3)
Meritorious Service ribbon.svg Meritorious Service Medal
Navy and Marine Corps Commendation ribbon.svg Navy Commendation Medal (4)
Navy and Marine Corps Achievement ribbon.svg Navy Achievement Medal
Michelle Janine Howard (born April 30, 1960) is an American naval officer and a Vice Admiral in the United States Navy. She currently serves as the Deputy Commander U.S. Fleet Forces Command and as the Director of the Combined Joint Operations from the Sea Center of Excellence.
Howard is the first African-American woman to achieve three star rank in the U.S. Armed Forces. She is the first African-American woman to command a U.S. Navy ship. In 2006, she was selected for the rank of Rear Admiral lower half, making her the first admiral selected from the United States Naval Academy class of 1982 and the first woman graduate of the United States Naval Academy selected for Admiral.
Howard was born to retired U.S. Air Force master sergeant Nick Howard and his wife Phillipa. 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.

Howard gives a speech at the New York Mercantile Exchange in June 2010, during Fleet Week.
Howard’s initial sea tours were aboard the USS Hunley (AS-31) and the USS Lexington (AVT-16). While serving on board Lexington, she received the Secretary of the Navy/Navy League Captain Winifred Collins award in May 1987. This award is given to one woman officer a year for outstanding leadership. She reported to USS Mount Hood (AE-29) as Chief Engineer in 1990 and served in the Persian Gulf War, during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. She assumed duties as First Lieutenant on board the USS Flint (AE-32) in July 1992. In January 1996, she became the Executive Officer of USS Tortuga (LSD-46) and deployed to the Adriatic in support of Operation Joint Endeavor, a peacekeeping effort in the Former Republic of Yugoslavia. Sixty days after returning from the Mediterranean deployment, Tortuga departed on a West African Training Cruise, where the ship’s sailors, with embarked U.S. Marines and U.S. Coast Guard detachment, operated with the naval services of seven African nations.
Howard 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 commanded Amphibious Squadron 7 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 Persian Gulf.
Howard's shore assignments include: Course Coordinator/Instructor for the Steam Engineering Officer of the Watch (EOOW) course; Action Officer and Navy’s liaison to the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Military Services (DACOWITS) in the Bureau of Personnel; Action Officer J-3, Global Operations, Readiness on the Joint Staff from 2001–2003; Executive Assistant to the Joint Staff Director of Operations from February 2003 to February 2004; and Deputy Director N3 on the OPNAV Staff from December 2005 to July 2006.
Howard was the Deputy Director, Expeditionary Warfare Division, OPNAV staff from July 2006 to December 2006, and senior military assistant to the secretary of the Navy January 2007-January 2009.She served as chief of staff to the director for Strategic Plans and Policy, J-5, Joint Staff from August 2010 until July 2012.
Howard assumed command of Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) 2 and Combined Task Force (CTF) 151 aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD-4) in April 2009. The USS Boxer was the flagship for CTF 151, a multinational task force established to conduct counter-piracy operations in the Indian Ocean.
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.