First Female Head of Command Announced

On the heels of the Dec. 2015 appointment of the first female West Point Commandant come another first for females in the military.

President Obama nominated Air Force Gen. Lori Robinson as the new head of U.S. Northern Command, which was created in 2002 and “oversees the military’s homeland defense and the surrounding water to approximately 500 miles off the U.S. coasts,” according to the USA Today. The announcement on Friday, March 18 makes Robinson the first female commander of a combatant command in U.S. history.

Currently the head of the Pacific air forces, the USA Today says that Robinson is one of two four-star generals in the Air Forces. She has also served as the vice commander of the Air Combat Command, as well as the deputy commander of the U.S. Air Forces Central Command.

Although her nomination still needs to be confirmed by the Senate, it comes as part of Defense Secretary Ash Carter’s mission to change the difficulty the U.S. Military branches have had in promoting women to top leadership positions — something the USA Today says has been a “priority of his tenure since taking over at the Pentagon last year.”

Upon making the announcement, White House press secretary Josh Earnest praised Robinson’s expertise, describing her as an “extremely talented Air Force officer.”

Robinson, he said, “has distinguished herself as a particularly effective leader. There is no question she is eminently qualified and exactly the right person for the job.”


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