The Navy has promoted Vice Adm. Michelle Howard, making her the first female four-star admiral in its 236-year history and the service's new vice chief of naval operations.
Howard paid tribute to the nation's service members Tuesday morning at her promotion ceremony, held at the Women in Military Service for America Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery. In her brief remarks, she said that the "willingness to step up and contribute to a noble cause in your life is a sign of true selflessness."
"Our sailors and Marines are this legacy. They are volunteers," she said. "And with every mission, they demonstrate our core values, values our founders would have understood -- courage, honor, commitment."
Howard graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1982, and she was the first black woman to command a ship.
She recently told the Navy Times that there are many more opportunities for women in the military than there were when she first joined.