Admiral Michelle Howard, USN
(1960 - )
Adm. Howard is the US Navy's first female 4-star admiral. This is not the first of her extremely impressive achievements. She was also the first African-American female as a 3 star ranking officer and the first to have command of a ship.
Adm. Howard also led Task Force 151, rescuing the captain of a cargo ship after it was attacked by Somali pirates in 2009.
A bit of humor at the ceremony, Adm. Howard told the spectators when she placed the order for her new fancy shoulder boards for her dress uniforms, (items like this for a female uniform are generally smaller than a male's would be) she was told they didn't exist and needed to be specially made! So she proudly showed them off to all assembled, as being the first set ever.
Both the Army & Air Force have had 4 star ranking female officers counted among their ranks. Army General Ann Dunwoody was the first and she just retired in 2012.