ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — For the first time, a Black woman will serve as the U.S. Naval Academy’s brigade commander.

Midshipman 1st Class Sydney Barber will be the commander for the spring semester, the academy’s commandant said.

Credit: US Naval Academy

The first female brigade commander ever was then-Midshipman Juliane Gallina, who served in 1991.

Barber, a graduate of Lake Forest High School in Illinois, is a mechanical engineering major and aspires to commission as a Marine Corps ground officer.

The brigade commander is the highest leadership position in the brigade. The semester-long position is selected through an application and interview process by senior leadership and the commandant’s staff.

“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.”

CBS Baltimore Staff

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