Maj. Gen. Lorna Mahlock, a senior officer in the United States Armed Forces, recently made history as the Marine Corps’ first Black female two-star general. According to Military.com, Mahlock’s achievement joins other historic milestones achieved by women and minorities in the military this year.
President Joe Biden nominated Mahlock, who was born in Jamaica, at the beginning of the month. On December 15, the Senate gave its approval for her promotion. Mahlock is the National Security Agency’s deputy director of cybersecurity for combat support.
“Congrats to Brig. Gen. Lorna Mahlock, confirmed Thursday [December 15] to major general,” the NSA’s director of cybersecurity, Rob Joyce, tweeted in response to her promotion. “She is an awesome leader, great partner, and the deputy director of cybersecurity for combat support here at NSA. Blazing a trail as the first Black woman two star marine!”
Mahlock’s historic achievement adds to her other significant accomplishments. In 2018, she became the Marine Corps’ first Black woman to be promoted to the rank of one-star brigadier general. She was also the first female chief information officer in the Marine Corps.
According to her alma mater, Marquette University, Mahlock immigrated to the United States from Jamaica when she was 17 years old. Three months after her arrival, she enlisted in the Marine Corps.
Mahlock has worked as an air command and control officer and as the director of the Marine Corps Instructional Management School throughout her career. She also holds a number of master’s degrees.
According to the Marine Corps Times, the Marine Corps is one of the smallest branches of the military. The proportion of women in that force is said to be the lowest, at 9%. Despite this, the Marine Corps has made significant changes to accommodate women. Women were not allowed to serve in combat prior to 2016.