History will be made at the Naval Academy in Annapolis next year.
When spring semester midshipman leadership positions were announced last week, they included Midshipman 1st Class Sydney Barber, of Lake Forest, Illinois, who will become the academy's first African American female brigade commander.
Barber will be the sixteenth woman selected for brigade commander in the 44 years women have been attending the Naval Academy.
Barber is a mechanical engineering major and aspires to commission as a Marine Corps ground officer. She is also on the Navy Women’s Varsity Track and Field team, and has lettered all three years of competing. She is a USNA record holder for the outdoor 4x400m relay. She is the co-president of the Navy Fellowship of Christian Athletes Club, secretary for the National Society of Black Engineers, and a member of the USNA Gospel Choir and Midshipman Black Studies Club.
“She is a catalyst for action, a visionary, a listener, a doer, and a person driven by compassion, by faith, by a fierce sense of passion and heart full of love,” said Midshipman 1st Class Ryan Chapman, who currently holds the semester-long brigade commander position. “Sydney is the perfect person to lead the brigade.”