(AP) — A Black woman from Lake Forest will lead fellow students at the U.S. Naval Academy for the first time, taking the top student leadership role of brigade commander.

The academy said in a news release that Midshipman 1st Class Sydney Barber will be the commander for the spring semester. Brigade commander is the highest leadership position within the academy’s student body.

The semester-long position is selected through an application and interview process by senior leadership and the commandant’s staff. Barber is from Lake Forest, Illinois.

This undated photo provided by the U.S. Navy shows Midshipman 1st Class Sydney Barber, from Lake Forest, Ill. Barber is slated to be the Naval Academy’s first African American female brigade commander, the U.S. Naval Academy announced Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. (Petty Officer 2nd Class Nathan Burke/U.S. Navy via AP)

She is the 16th woman selected for brigade commander in the 44 years women have attended the academy.

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