She Just Became The First Black Woman To Lead US Naval Academy’s Brigade In It’s 175-Year History


November 11, 2020

Aye, Aye Commander!

Midshipman 1st Class Sydney Barber makes history as the first Black woman to lead the United States Naval Academy’s Brigade, CBS Baltimore reports.


The 21-year-old is a graduate of Lake Forest High School in Illinois. She currently majors in mechanical engineering and hopes to one day be a Marine Corps ground officer. Recently, Barber was chosen as brigade commander, the highest leadership position in the brigade. The academy’s commandant said Barber will hold this position throughout the spring semester. During her appointment, she will be responsible for managing the brigade’s daily activities as well as the professional training of her fellow midshipmen.

After a lengthy process, officials selected Barber; she completed an application and interview with senior leadership and commandant’s staff. Barber is making history as the first Black woman to hold the title and the second woman. Midshipman Juliane Gallina was the first woman brigade commander, taking the role in 1991.


Barber said she is ecstatic and understands the gravity of the position given the current U.S. climate.

“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. I am humbled to play a small role in this momentous season of American history,” she said.

Your leadership speaks volumes! Congratulations, Midshipman 1st Class Barber!


Photo Courtesy of U.S. Naval Academy

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