U.S. Naval Academy Names First African American Woman Brigade Commander

Houston v Navy

An African American woman is making history in the U.S Navy. Sydney Barber will be the first Black woman Brigade Commander at the U.S. Naval Academy.

"The brigade commander is the highest leadership position within the brigade, and is the only 'six striper' a reference to the collar insignia worn on the midshipman uniform, the rank of midshipman captain," the U.S. Naval Academy statement reports.

"Earning the title of brigade commander speaks volumes, but the title itself is not nearly as significant as the opportunity it brings to lead a team in doing something I believe will be truly special," Barber said in a statement. "I am humbled to play a small role in this momentous season of American history." 

Barber will be the 16th woman selected for brigade commander in the 44 years women have been attending the academy. She will start her position in the spring semester of 2021.

Congratulations Midshipman 1st Class Sydney Barber!

Photo: Patrick Smith/Getty Images

(The photo below was provided by the U.S. Navy and it shows Midshipman 1st Class Sydney Barber, from Lake Forest, Ill. - BURKE / AP)

(This undated photo provided by the U.S. Navy shows Midshipman 1st Class Sydney Barber, from Lake Forest, Ill. cc: BURKE / AP)

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