Vice Admiral Michelle Howard
United States Fleet Forces Command
Vice Admiral Howard 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’s initial sea tours were aboard USS Hunley (AS 31) and 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 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 Marines and U.S. Coast Guard detachment, operated with the naval services of seven African nations.
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 the: Surface Warfare Officers School Coronado, Navy Bureau of Personnel, Joint Staff, OPNAV staff, Secretary of the Navy Staff.
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.
She currently serves as deputy commander, US Fleet Forces Command.
Selected by the Chairman of the National Board of Directors of the NAACP, this award is presented to individuals in special recognition of their efforts to utilize their profession to promote diversity and community involvement.
About the Chairman
Roslyn M. Brock is Chairman of the National Board of Directors for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). She made history in February 2010 when she was unanimously elected as its 14th Chairman. She is the youngest person and fourth woman to hold this position. Read more