First Woman to Lead U.S. Military Combatant Command

Photo of author

( — May 15, 2016) —Lori Robinson will lead the U.S. Northern Command (NORTHCOM), which heads homeland defense efforts for the Pentagon and coordinates defense support of civil authorities, as well as the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), which conducts aerospace warning, aerospace control, and maritime warning in the defense of North America, reports ABC News.

Prior to her current position as head of NORTHCOM, she was the commander of Pacific Air Forces, an air component commander for the U.S. Pacific Command and executive director of the Pacific Air Combat Operations staff at the Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Hawaii.

The change of command ceremony on Friday 13th was attended by several hundred people at the Peterson air base. During the handover of duties, 19 cannons were fired in honor of Robinson.

Speaking at the ceremony, she pledged to devote her full energy and full focus to the job. Robinson said that her new job is a significant responsibility, and stated that her father George Howard, a retired 30-year Air Force officer, is her role model.

US Secretary of Defense, Ash Carter, who recommended Robinson to President Obama, said at the ceremony that she was a clear and obvious choice because she has a remarkable and complete set of proven experience, also adding that she is the most qualified officer for the job. Robinson and Carter worked together closely at the Pentagon. During that time, the US Secretary of Defence said he saw her ability to lead and command in fast paced operational environments.

Last year the U.S. military opened up all combat roles to women. That was a historic step to breaking gender barriers in the armed forces.

Air Force General Lori Robinson, 56 years old, is married to retired two-star Air Force Major General David A. Robinson. She entered the Air Force in 1982 through the The Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program at the University of New Hampshire and has received numerous awards and medals.

Lori is one of just two female four-star generals in the Air Force. In 2016 Robinson was named in Time magazine’s list of 100 most influential people.