For the first time in its history, the Naval Academy's 4,500-member Brigade of Midshipmen will be under the command of a female midshipman next semester.
The academy announced yesterday the appointment of
Midshipman Juliane Gallina, an honors student from Pelham, N.Y., to the rank of midshipman captain with responsibility in her senior year for the daily military activities and performance of the entire study body.
The appointment -- made by the military school's superintendent after a lengthy process of nominations and review -- is based on leadership, academic and athletic abilities, as well as "unusual maturity," according to a representative of the academy, Carol Feldmann.
"I feel like I'm one in a long line of brigade commanders chosen notbecause I did anything special, but because I was doing what I was supposed to do all along," Midshipman Gallina was quoted as saying by the academy public affairs office.
The new student leader -- who could not be reached for comment last night -- plans to attend Airborne School at Fort Benning,Ga., this summer to earn her military jump wings.
She will return to the academy to serve as a company commander, responsible for the indoctrination of some 65 plebes -- or freshmen -- and also is scheduled for training as a junior officer aboard a Navy ship.
Last semester, she was a delegate to the Corbin Seminar, which discusses women's issues and rotates annually between the different service academies. The next seminar takes place in October at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, N.Y., -- where in 1989, in a first for any of the service academies, Kristin M. Baker was selected as captain of the Corps of Cadets.
The Naval Academy's second-highest student position, as deputy brigade commander with the rank of midshipman commandant, will be filled by Daniel Truckenbrod of Sycamore, Ill.