GW's Constellation Grows Larger

Nadja West, M.D. ’88, Adds a Third Star to Her List of Achievements

In December 2015, with the help of her children, Nadja West, M.D. ’88, pinned on her third star, reaching a trio of milestones in the process, becoming the United States Army’s first African-American woman Lieutenant General, the highest-ranking woman to graduate from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, and the first African-American woman to serve as the U.S. Army Surgeon General.

GW’s Constellation Grows Larger
Lt. Gen. Nadja West’s children, Logan and Sydney, replace her two-star shoulder board rank with the three-star shoulder board rank during her formal ceremony in honor of her promotion to lieutenant general, Feb. 9, 2016. Photo by Brandon Marrone.

There has been no shortage of firsts for West’s career. She was the Army Medical Command’s first female African-American two-star general when she served as the senior medical officer on the Joint Staff and medical advisor to General Martin Dempsey, the chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. As Army surgeon general, West takes over for another trailblazer, Lt. Gen. Patricia Horoho, who was the first woman to hold the position.

In her new post, West is the commanding general of the United States Army Medical Command, providing advice and assistance to the Army secretary and chief of staff on all health care matters pertaining to the U.S. Army and its military health care system.

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