The U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis has announced that a Black female midshipman will be the brigade commander for the first time.
The academy’s commandant said Monday that Midshipman 1st Class Sydney Barber will be the commander for the spring semester.
Brigade commander is the highest leadership position within the academy’s student body. The semester-long position is selected through an application and interview process by senior leadership and the commandant’s staff.
Barber is from Lake Forest, Illinois. She is the 16th woman selected for the brigade commander. The first female brigade commander was Julianna Galiana. She served in the position in 1991.
“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 release from the Naval Academy, which is located in Annapolis, Maryland. “I am humbled to play a small role in this momentous season of American history.”