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U.S. Marines with Marine Aircraft Control Group 18 listen to Colonel Lorna Mahlock, commanding officer, MACG-18, during Exercise Valiant Shield 16, Sept. 14, 2016.
U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Makenzie Fallon
Girls & Women

This Woman Was Just Nominated to Be the First Black Woman Brigadier General Ever

Representation matters. Whether it’s in politics, art, or, yes, war, leaders must be chosen to represent the people they serve. 

But in the United States armed forces, this is all too often not the case. Despite changing demographics, active duty members of the armed forces continue to be made up disproportionately of men, and specifically white men. 

That’s why the nomination of Marine Corps Col. Lorna M. Mahlock — a black woman — to the rank of brigadier general is so important. 

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If confirmed, Mahlock will be the first woman of color to serve in this post, according to ABC News

Other than its historical significance, the nomination, made by Secretary of Defense James N. Mattis, also highlights the progress made on increasing diversity in the Marine Corps after it launched a campaign in 2011 calling for better representation of women and minorities. 

Of the four major branches of the US armed forces, the Marines still have the lowest proportion of women, comprising just 6.8% of active members

But that may be shifting with Mahlock’s nomination to one of the highest organizational ranks. 

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Her nomination was met with support online. 

“RAH!!! I am SO VERY PROUD!” Anthony D. Turner wrote in a tweet. “Secretary of Defense James N. Mattis credit on this one!” 

“Col. Lorna M. Mahlock’s qualifications for the job matter more than her race, but these milestones are worth celebrating and represent a win for women, our country, and any individual who faces tremendous odds but refuses to stay an underdog,” another Twitter user, S. Gillums Jr., wrote

Global Citizen campaigns on the Global Goals for Sustainable Development, and reduced inequalities is goal number 10. This goal calls for the “social, economic and political inclusion of all, irrespective of age, sex, disability, race, ethnicity, origin, religion or economic or other status.” 

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