On March 18, 2016, President Barack Obama tapped Air Force General Lori Robinson to be the next head of the U.S. Northern Command. This was announced by Ash Carter, the U.S. Defense Secretary. After Air Force Gen. Lori Robinson is confirmed, she will become the highest ranking military woman that will be leading a unified combatant command in United States history.
Air Force General Robinson began her career in the Air Force in 1982. After 34 years in service she will now become the top general to lead all military activities in North America. The Northern Command (NORTHCOM) and the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) will be all under her command.
No one was surprised when Robinson was nominated to one of the U.S. military’s’ most senior positions because her career in the military is more than enough proof that Gen. Robinson is not only capable but is also most qualified for the spot.
From a two star general serving as a deputy commander in the U.S. Air force Central Command, Gen. Robinson rose to become a four star general and served as the commander of the Pacific Air Forces. She was also the first four- star female general to command U.S. combat forces.
While there were other female service members who reached the rank of a four-star general like Adm. Michelle Howard who is the current Vice Chief of Naval Operations, General Robinson will be the first female four-star general to reach this level, where the NORTHCOM and NORAD will be under her command.
“General Robinson, it just so happens, would also be the first ever female combatant commander, that shows yet another thing, which is that we have, coming along now, a lot of female officers who are exceptionally strong. And Lori certainly fits into that category.” Carter said
The first female four-star general in the U.S. military was the now retired Gen. Ann Dunwoody. In 2008, she was appointed by former U.S. President George W. Bush as the head of the U.S. Army Material Command.