First Woman to Head a U.S. Combatant Command

June 28, 2017

On April 28 the U.S. Senate confirmed Gen. Lori Robinson to be the first woman to lead a combatant command. She will head the U.S. Northern Command, making her the top general in charge of preventing attacks on the U.S. and its territories, including the Gulf of Mexico, Puerto Rico, the Bahamas, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The command encompasses land, air, and sea units. Earlier this year General Robinson was listed in Time magazine as one of 2016’s most influential people.  In the Time article, Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth explained the importance of this appointment: Northern Command, created the year after the 9/11 attacks, is also prestigious because it protects our homeland. That is such a tremendous commentary on where we are as a nation.For years, women were barred from combat roles, closing off their route to the senior leadership. General Robinson’s appointment makes clear to every female lieutenant that the top jobs are now open to them.

Sources: The Atlantic, April 26, 2016 The First Female Combatant Commander in the United States J.Weston Phippen   Time, April 21, 2016 Lori Robinson Tammy Duckworth   CBS News, April 29, 2016 Senate Confirms First Female Officer for Warfighting Command Rod McGuirk, AP    

Latest News

view all

Sarah Zorn Finishes Tenure as First Female Commander at U.S. Military Academy, the Citadel

May 20, 2019

May 20, 2019: The Citadel, the military academy which was forced to admit women after a 1995 Supreme Court ruling, selected it's first female regimental commander last year. Sarah Zorn's time as the first woman to lead 2,400 cadets is documented in a photo essay by Alyssa Schukar. Women now make up 10% of the student body.See more: I Serve as a Stepping Stone (

Read News Item

A Cultural Shift Is Helping Keep Talented Mothers in the U.S. Navy

May 16, 2019

May 15, 2019: Lt. Cmdr. Karen Sankes-Ritland never imagined life outside the military.But more than a decade into her career, the strains of family life and a dual-military household were taking a toll. Something had to change. She needed a break. But she didn't want to leave the Navy. So after her fourth child's arrival in 2016, she took advantage of a program that lets enlisted sailors and officers take a sabbatical. For a year, she was a stay-at-home mom.

Read News Item

Blue Helmets: Model for Global Partnership

May 14, 2019

May 13, 2019: Retno LP Marsudi, Foreign Minister of Indonesia, delivered a speech touching upon the importance of female peacekeepers on May 7 at the United Nations Security Council. Minister Marsudi noted that "investing in women equals investing in peace. Female peacekeepers are more effective in winning the hearts and minds of local populations;providing comfort for those traumatized by conflicts.

Read News Item

See the latest events

View events