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Leadership in the Modern Navy

21st Century

Capt. Armour, USMC; Capt. Sisson; Master Chief Colon; Cmdr. Joyner; Rear Adm. Kibben

(Left to right) Captain Vernice Armour, USMC; Captain Barbara A. Sisson; Master Chief Zenaida Colon; Commander Sara Joyner; Rear Admiral Margaret Kibben. Click image to download.


Captain Vernice Armour, USMC, earned her wings in 2001. The Department of Defense acknowledged her as the first female African American combat pilot in the military during Operation Iraqi Freedom; she completed two tours in the Persian Gulf.


Angela Salina became the first Hispanic woman brigadier general in the Marine Corps on 2 August 2006.


Captain Barbara A. Sisson retired in 2008 after a pioneering 28-year career in the Navy’s Civil Engineer Corps. She distinguished herself as the first female instructor at the Civil Engineer Corps Officer School and the first female regimental commodore of a CD regiment, the 3rd Naval Construction Regiment. Zenaida Colon, a native of Puerto Rico and the Navy’s only female master chief aviation support equipment technician (Aviation and Surface Warfare qualified), joined the crew of USS Bataan (LHD-5).


Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced on 9 January 2010, that women would be assigned to Ohio-class submarines. Commander Sara Joyner, who was selected for promotion to captain, is the first women selected to head a carrier air wing.


Vice Admiral Nanette DeRenzi became the 42nd Judge Advocate General of the Navy. Female Navy medical personnel were assigned to Marine Corps combat battalions after those positions were opened to women in May 2012.


Michelle Howard became the first woman promoted to four-star admiral. Rear Admiral Margaret Kibben became the first female chief of navy chaplains.

Published: Wed Feb 08 14:11:50 EST 2023