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.

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Credit: US Naval Academy

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

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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.

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“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