Another black woman has made U.S. history this week.
As the country’s first Black Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris begins her new position in January, so will the U.S. Naval Academy’s first ever black female brigade commander. Officials announced Monday that Midshipman 1st Class Sydney Barber will hold the highest leadership position within the brigade for the spring semester. While she’ll be the first Black woman to serve in the position, she’ll be the 16th female to hold the rank since women were allowed to attend the Naval Academy beginning in 1976.
“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, of Lake Forest, Illinois, is studying mechanical engineering and hopes to become a Marine Corps ground officer. She created a STEM mentorship program for young girls of color and organized a networking breakfast to connect current Black midshipmen with alumni.