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Navy photographer Chris Desmond’s 2015 photograph is an iconic image of women in military service for America.

Admiral Michelle Howard (now retired), right, Rear Admiral Annie B. Andrews (now retired), left, and Rear Adm. Lillian E. Fishburne (ret.) were photographed on stage during a Navy Recruiting Command’s change of command ceremony in Tennessee.

Howard, Andrews, and Fishburne are the first three African American female admirals in the Navy.

More recently, at a Navy Women’s celebration in April,  Andrews, now assistant administrator for human resource management at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), joined personnel at Naval Support Facility Dahlgren.

In her inspirational talk at Dahlgren, Andrews spoke about the courage of leaders like  Lt. Cmdr. Darlene Iskra – the first female to command a commissioned Navy vessel, aviation pioneer Bessie Coleman, and Adm. Michelle Howard, the first African American woman to command a U.S. naval warship.

“Let us carry the torch into the next generation,” said Andrews. “Whether you’re in uniform or out of uniform. Many of you out there can be honored just like these pioneer women for breaking down barriers that might be standing in your way.”

Howard,  the first woman in history to be promoted a four-star admiral by the U.S. Navy, retired in 2017.  Fishburne, the first African American woman to become a Rear Admiral in the Navy in 1998, retired in 2001.

Andrews retired at the rank of rear admiral in 2015 and began a new career at the Federal Aviation Administration, after thirty-two years in uniform. She is the third woman to achieve the rank of rear admiral in the U.S. Navy.

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