Midshipman 1st Class Sydney Barber, a graduate of Lake Forest High School, was named the first Black woman to serve as brigade commander at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. She stepped into the semesterlong role in January.
In the academy’s 175-year history, Barber is only the 16th woman to take the position, equivalent of a student body president in civilian terms.
“Sydney holds the highest leadership position within the brigade. She is directly involved with the daily activities and training for the current brigade of more than 4,400 midshipmen,” Dunn Museum Curator Diana Dretske said.
When the mechanical engineering major graduates, she aspires to commission as a Marine Corps ground officer.
The story about Barber is part of the Inspiration Wall in the “Breaking Barriers: Women in the Military” exhibit at the Bess Bower Dunn Museum, 1899 W. Winchester Road in Libertyville. Running through June 13, the exhibit shares interesting stories and highlights women’s roles as nurses, auxiliary personnel, enlistees, and officers in the U.S. military.
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