Tuesday was a historic day for the U.S. Navy as Adm. Michelle Janine Howard became the branch’s highest-ranking female in history and the first to get four stars. Howard has had a trailblazing career—in 1999, she was the first black woman to command a ship. She is now taking on the role of vice chief of naval operations, making her the No. 2 officer in the Navy. “Her accomplishment is a direct example of a Navy that now, more than ever, reflects the nation it serves—a nation where success is not borne of race, gender, or religion, but of skill and ability,” said Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus.