*Marine Corps Col. Lorna M. Mahlock, the deputy director of Operations, Plans, Policies and Operations at Marine Corps headquarters outside Washington, D.C., will become the first black woman to serve as brigadier general if she is confirmed.
Brigadier General Hazel W. Johnson-Brown was the first black woman general officer and the first black chief of the Army Nurse Corps.
Mahlock’s nomination was first reported by ABC News.
The Marine colonel has not made a public statement since her nomination, but in 2016, she discussed her experience in the Marine Corps as part of a video dedicated to Women’s History Month, per marinecorptimes.com.
“Over my 30 years in the Marine Corps, my experience in terms of how women have evolved has been very positive,” she said in the video. “It’s been a steady rise. I’m very, very hopeful.”
On Tuesday, the Marine Corps’ Office of Public Affairs announced the nomination of Mahlock by President Donald Trump to serve as brigadier general in the United States military. If she is confirmed, Mahlock will take over the assignment as director of the Marine Corps Staff.
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Mahlock “previously served as the Commanding Officer of Marine Air Control Group 18 (MACG18) in Okinawa, Japan, overseeing 1,300 military and civilian personnel and was responsible for equipment and infrastructure worth $250 million. She also leads, maintains, and operates a unit with 400 marines, and $60 million in commercial network and satellite equipment in over 15 sovereign countries,” per abcnews.com.
The United States Marine Corps, which has long been dominated by white male, launched a marketing campaign in 2012 in an effort to diversify its ranks. Their print and TV ads were designed to “resonate with young people in general, but women and blacks in particular,” senior officers told the New York Times would
“The Marine Corps is the smallest of the four military services and has the lowest percentage of female members,” according to Marine Corps Community Services.
“The first black general in Marine Corps history was Marine aviator Frank E. Petersen Jr. He was selected as a second lieutenant in October 1952 after completing flight training and was promoted to brigadier general in 1979,” according to Marine Corps University. He retired as a lieutenant-general in 1988, and passed away on Aug. 25, 2015.
“Mahlock has experience working with lawmakers and private industry professionals. She also coordinated with industry leaders like Sheryl Sandberg and Simon Sinek on human capital and talent management strategies. Between 2010 and 2013, she served in the European Command in Germany, coordinating the activities of several arms of the military and Special Operations activities across 50 countries, including Turkey and Israel.”
According to her LinkedIn page, Lorna Mahlock earned a broadcast journalism degree from Marquette University in 1991 and a graduate degree in Adult and Higher Education from the University of Oklahoma. She also earned a master’s degree in Military Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College in 2010.”