WASHINGTON — Gen. Lori Robinson was officially named as the next nominee to lead US Northern Command (NORTHCOM) on Friday, setting her up to be the first woman to lead a combatant command in Pentagon history.
The announcement, made by Secretary of Defense Ash Carter at a breakfast event, was largely expected, with Defense News, among others, reporting in January that Robinson was the likely pick.
If confirmed by the Senate, she would replace Adm. Bill Gortney, who held the position since December 2014.
Seen as a rising star in the Air Force, Robinson has shot through the ranks, adding a star a year from 2012 through 2014.
In June 2012, just before current Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh took office, Robinson was a two-star serving as deputy commander, US Air Forces Central Command; less than a year later, she pinned on her third star in May 2013 and became vice commander, Air Combat Command.
Then in October 2014, she pinned on her fourth star and took over as commander, Pacific Air Forces. With the PACAF assignment, Robinson became the first US female four-star to command combat forces.
Aaron Mehta was deputy editor and senior Pentagon correspondent for Defense News, covering policy, strategy and acquisition at the highest levels of the Defense Department and its international partners.