National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum celebrates Admiral Michelle Howard as Annie Oakley Society honoree


October 22, 2015

Contact: Kate Cunningham

 (Office) 405.605.2003 or (Cell) 405.740.0869


National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum celebrates Admiral Michelle Howard as Annie Oakley Society honoree

First female four-star admiral to be honored November 12 at Museum


OKLAHOMA CITY – The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum will honor U.S. Navy Adm. Michelle Howard as Annie Oakley Society Award Honoree November 12 during the Annie Oakley Society annual luncheon and awards ceremony. A pioneer in the armed services, Howard is the first woman to achieve the rank of four-star admiral and the first to serve as the Vice Chief of Naval Operations. The award celebrates women who have achieved historic firsts.

“Adm. Howard is the definition of what we honor at the National Cowboy Museum every day,” Museum President Steven Karr said. “The American West is known historically as a challenging frontier; Adm. Howard continues to exemplify a modern-day pioneer spirit by rising to life’s challenges with drive, tenacity and perseverance. We are honored she plans to come share her story with us.”

A few of Howard’s notable assignments have included leading relief efforts in Indonesia, following the 2004 tsunami and directing maritime security operations and multinational counter-piracy efforts  off the coast of Somalia in 2009. Her leadership led to the rescue of Maersk Alabama Captain Richard Phillips, made famous in a 2013 film starring Tom Hanks.

Howard’s honors outside the military include receiving the NAACP Chairman’s Award in 2013, the 2011 USO Military Woman of the Year Award, the 2009 Dominion Power Strong Men and Women Excellence in Leadership Award and the 2008 Women of Color Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Career Achievement Award.

“Just as Annie Oakley was a trailblazer of the American West, Adm. Howard has achieved many firsts in her military career,” Annie Oakley Society National Chair Cathy Keating said. “She demonstrates the diversity of experience this award represents, as women leaders come from all backgrounds, races, religions, industries and more, and these women should be honored and positioned for a new generation of young people to look up to them and aspire to be like them.”

The Annie Oakley Society is comprised of women leaders and philanthropists who, like Annie Oakley, play significant roles in shaping communities and creating new horizons. Through their efforts, Society members work to demonstrate an undying determination, passion for excellence and support for the American character preserved and promoted through the Museum. Past Annie Oakley Society Award Honorees include Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, Reba McIntyre, Nadia Comaneci and Kristin Chenoweth.

The luncheon and awards ceremony is open to the public; reservations are required in advance. For event information or to learn more about Annie Oakley Society membership, call (405) 478-2250 ext. 219 or visit


About the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum  

Nationally accredited, the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum is located in Oklahoma City’s Adventure District at the junction of Interstates 44 with 35, the state’s exciting Adventure Road corridor. The Museum offers annual memberships beginning at just $40. For more information, visit For high-resolution images related to the National Cowboy Museum or this event, visit