President Donald Trump has nominated Marine Corps Col. Lorna Mahlock to be the first black female brigadier general, according to the military branch’s media office.
Secretary of Defense James Mattis made the announcement on Tuesday.
Mahlock is currently stationed at the Marines’ Operations, Plans, Policies, and Operations Directorate in Washington, D.C.
According to her LinkedIn profile, Mahlock has served in Germany, worked in the Office of Legislative Affairs and served in Okinawa, Japan.
Promotion to senior ranks in the United States Armed Forces are done by being nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate, which don’t always occur on an individual basis.
In 2017, the first female infantry Marines were assigned. They specialize in being riflemen, as well as working with machine guns and mortars. Women make up just 8% of the Marine Corps, but Gen. Glenn Walters, the assistant commandant of the Marine Corps, has said that number is set to rise.
Col. Lorna Mahlock joined the Corps in 1985 and was commissioned in 1991. From there, she’s been on the up and up. She served in Iraq three times, starting as a company commander and finishing off as commanding officer in 2009. She was also stationed in Okinawa, Japan, where she was overseeing military and civilian personnel and equipment in support of U.S. interests in the Asia-Pacific region.
Mahlock has received a number of awards including the Iraq Campaign Medal, Legion of Merit Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Joint Service Achievement Medal, Presidential Unit Citation, Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Korean Defense Service Medal, and Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.