Navy Nominates first female African-American 4-Star

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel announced today that the president has nominated Vice Adm. Michelle J. Howard for appointment to the rank of admiral and assignment as vice chief of naval operations, Pentagon, Washington, D.C, replacing Adm. Mark E. Ferguson III.

Howard is currently serving as deputy chief of naval operations for operations, plans, and strategy, N3/N5, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Pentagon, Washington, D.C.

Ferguson has been nominated for reappointment to the rank of admiral and assignment as commander, U.S. Naval Forces, Europe/commander, U.S. Naval Forces Africa, and commander, Allied Joint Forces Command, Naples, Italy.

I am happy for Adm Howard and am confident she is the best candidate for the nomination. I am sure her being an African-American female had absolutely nothing to do with the decision.

(if the above is true, why is gender and ethnicity even mentioned in the press release?)

Why is it mentioned? Because it’s a first.

You seem bitterly disappointed that she’s not in a kitchen somewhere making you eggs and coffee.

Not at all Ms Herder.

I am a firm believer in a system of meritocracy. Promotion should go to the best candidate regardless of gender or ethnicity.

I will admit I resent the concept of affirmative action, which to me is reverse discrimination.

Well based on your comment, you seem to think she got the job based on AA, which tells me you’ve made assumptions based on guess what, her gender and ethnicity.

Ever consider that she might have been the best candidate?

Time will tell whether the choice was a good one or not.

She is an inspiration for us all! Maybe one day I will be Supply Officer on the USNS Medgar Evers. Nothing can stop me!

[QUOTE=DeadQuarters;126280]She is an inspiration for us all! Maybe one day I will be Supply Officer on the USNS Medgar Evers. Nothing can stop me![/QUOTE]

You go, girl.

[QUOTE=“catherder;126230”]

Well based on your comment, you seem to think she got the job based on AA, which tells me you’ve made assumptions based on guess what, her gender and ethnicity.

Ever consider that she might have been the best candidate?

Time will tell whether the choice was a good one or not.[/QUOTE]

No, I’d say he was making assumptions about how our society works these days.

You know what they say about assumptions, right?

There is no need for assumptions here because I’ve had the privilege to meet some of her former shipmates… I can’t publish the details but I can say that if I every walked aboard a ship and discovered that she was in command you’d find me kayak.com booking a seat on the red eye.

(In all fairness to her… I’d probably do a “Gangway 180” if I discovered that any former Navy O6 or above was in command of the vessel)

[QUOTE=john;126305]There is no need for assumptions here because I’ve had the privilege to meet some of her former shipmates… I can’t publish the details but I can say that if I every walked aboard a ship and discovered that she was in command you’d find me kayak.com booking a seat on the red eye.

(In all fairness to her… I’d probably do a “Gangway 180” if I discovered that any former Navy O6 or above was in command of the vessel)[/QUOTE]

I don’t know anything at all about this woman or her background, John, what I am objecting to is the automatic assumption that any woman in a job of any importance above dishwasher somehow got that job unfairly and beat out some poor white male who deserved it so much more.

You don’t see me on here bitching about men and how men are keeping me down, because well, they aren’t!

Every job, degree, qualification, promotion I got in life I did on my own without asking anyone for jack.

As I said above, if she’s wrong for the job it’ll become apparent, eventually. Life is like that.

I’ve lived a long time and I’ve seen plenty of people promoted right into failure.

End of rant.

I’m with you on the assumptions and, if it was someone of a lower rank, then I would have even held my tongue. I know countless women who are excellent ship officers (yourself, my wife, and many more) and her gender or ethnicity don’t worry me one bit and we should give her the benefit of the doubt… Problem is we (or at least those of us who know the inside scoop) are beyond that point.

The one thing I disagree with you on is this “time will tell… If she’s wrong for the job it’ll become apparent, eventually. Life is like that.” You would be 100% correct if she lived in the same world as you and me but she doesn’t she lives in the navy world and, the harsh reality is, that her complete lack of ability as the master of a warship did not prevent her from getting further commands and moving up the ladder. So, I fully disagree with you on this single point… Life (in the Navy at least) is NOT like that.

P.S. The reason I did post the remark is because, once you get a star on your shoulder, then public scrutiny is part of the job… once you get 4 then it’s every citizen’s duty to call BS when they see it. And, calling BS when I see it, is one of the primary reasons I created this website.

P.S2: I do conceded that people change and being a poor ship captain does not make you a bad person or prevent you from improving. I know a few “bad” captains that moved into shoreside jobs and became excellent leaders… Adm Howard might be one of those people. I don’t know. What I do know is that when someone get’s that high up the ladder then all cards should be laid on the table regardless of who the person is and what her background may be.

[QUOTE=catherder;126306], John, what I am objecting to is the automatic assumption that any woman in a job of any importance above dishwasher somehow got that job unfairly and beat out some poor white male who deserved it so much more.[/QUOTE]

I also believe it’s safe to say that all 4-stars promoted in the last 10 (maybe 20?) years got to that position unfairly. Sadly, It’s part of the system… Just like any senior Washington position (and that IS what a 4-star job is) the straight and honest and totally clued-in to this country’s real naval threats are weeded out of the system long before they become 4-stars, senators or Cabinet members.

So, yes, I am making the assumption that she is not fit for the job… but that assumption is based on my knowledge of how the system (a system designed by white men) operates. Looking at our response to China, our shrinking Naval capabilities and the continued total lack of “give a damn” in regards to this nation’s strongest (and essentially FREE!) naval asset (the US Merchant Marine!!), I’m confident that my assumption that she’s unqualified for the job is based solely on the fact that her last job was as 3-star and she didn’t do a single thing to correct the problems we face…, she certainly didn’t do anything significant to support or even reach out to U.S. Merchant Mariners.

Who was sustaining losses before we entered WWI?
Who had the highest rate of casualties in WWII?
Who performed the largest rescue operation by a ship in human history after the Chosin Reservior shit storm?
Who turned Vietnam into the largest container port in the world?
Who were the only people actively monitoring the Russians behind enemy lines during the Cold War?
Who supplied the heavy equipment BEFORE most of the troops arrived in BOTH gulf wars?
Who has sailed into Chinese ports dozens of times this month?
Who will be shot first by a submarine if the Navy keeps playing stupid games with the chinese?

The Navy??

So until an Admiral does recognize that their most powerful asset are the men AND women on this very forum… I’m not about to change my opinion that she, along with everyone else currently wearing multiple stars on their shoulder, is NOT the best person for the job.

END OF RANT

Let me just clarify my comments that started this little sh*tstorm.

MY objection is mostly the title of the press release. The fact she is a black female is (or should be) immaterial to her appointment. Highlighting it speaks volumes to what the Navy brass considers her most relevant qualification. The article should announce her appointment, her length of time in service, a few of her major accomplishments and wrap up with some of her responsibilities in her new role.

Period.

Well John, I got out about 20 years ago, so perhaps it’s not the Navy I remember. Maybe all you have to be nowadays is a good politician.

Now, that I can agree with, Jet.

The achievements should come first, not what you look like. Which was kinda my point. Your first comment didn’t quite make that crystal clear.

[QUOTE=Jetryder223;126320]Let me just clarify my comments that started this little sh*tstorm.

MY objection is mostly the title of the press release. The fact she is a black female is (or should be) immaterial to her appointment. Highlighting it speaks volumes to what the Navy brass considers her most relevant qualification. The article should announce her appointment, her length of time in service, a few of her major accomplishments and wrap up with some of her responsibilities in her new role.

Period.[/QUOTE]

All of you are so sad with all your assumptions! Obviously you should hold your opinions until someone posts a picture and we can factor in the “hottie” points. Then we can base our judgments on modern criteria, not stereotypes. Shame on you!

[QUOTE=Ea$y Money;126362]All of you are so sad with all your assumptions! Obviously you should hold your opinions until someone posts a picture and we can factor in the “hottie” points. Then we can base our judgments on modern criteria, not stereotypes. Shame on you![/QUOTE]

She is obviously the most qualified and has earned the position.

This is how her news release should have read:

http://www.public.navy.mil/usff/Documents/howard_bio.pdf

Note absence of gender & race references.

This merits the Golden Facepalm award.

x1000…