For the first time in the 135-year history of the US Naval War College, a woman -- Rear Admiral Shoshana Chatfield, who started off her career as a helicopter pilot -- has been appointed as its president. Currently Rear Admiral Chatfield is stationed in Guam as a commander of the Joint Region Marianas.

The 53-year-old had served as a Provincial Reconstruction Team Commander in Farah Province, in Afghanistan in 2008, the US Navy said in a statement. She was also an assistant professor of political science at the United States Air Force Academy from 2001 to 2004. The Bustle said that during her career in the Navy, Admiral Chatfield was deployed to the Western Pacific and Arabian Gulf as part of helicopter detachments supporting Carrier Strike Group and Amphibious Ready Group Operations.

Richard V. Spencer, the secretary of the Navy, said Rear Admiral Chatfield is the embodiment of the type of warrior-scholars the Navy needs now to lead the storied institution as it educates the next generation of leaders. “As our Education for Seapower (E4S) Study noted, our capacity for critical thinking in an age of increasing complexity will be our most important strategic advancement,” he said. Spencer added that Admiral Chatfield will play a pivotal role in leading the War College as it integrates into the new Naval University system to foster a culture of continuous learning in the naval services.

Admiral Chafield will replace Rear Admiral Jeffrey Harley, who has been accused of abusing his position and excessive spending. According to the Associated Press, there is a probe into alleged inappropriate conduct, such as keeping a margarita machine in his office. Officials had said that investigations into Harley’s case have not been completed.

US Navy The USS Monterey military vessel is seen docked in the Black Sea harbour of Constanta, 250 km (155 miles) east of Bucharest June 7, 2011. Photo: Reuters