First Female Four-Star General
This November of firsts is not limited to the presidential election. Our military has its own historic event to report. General Ann E. Dunwoody (right) ascended last week from humble beginnings 33 years ago at Fort Sill, Okla., to the never-before achieved elite level of four-star general.
At an emotional promotion ceremony, Dunwoody added a fourth star and, looking back on her years in uniform, said it was a credit to the Army that she was given a chance to rise through the ranks in a male-dominated military.
“I never grew up in an environment where I even heard of the words ‘glass ceiling,’" General Ann Dunwoody said. “You could always be anything you wanted to be if you worked hard, and so I never felt constrained. I never felt like there were limitations on what I could do,” she added.
"There is no one more surprised than I — except, of course, my husband. You know what they say, 'Behind every successful woman there is an astonished man.'" Call it an “interservice marriage,” too. Her husband, Craig Brotchie, served for 26 years in the Air Force.
At Fort Belvoir, Va. — her birthplace — Dunwoody was sworn in as commander of the Army Materiel Command, responsible for equipping, outfitting and arming all soldiers, a promotion from her deputy commander’s role there. The position stands as a key position in the multifront war on terror.
There are 21 female general officers in the Army — all but four at the one-star rank of brigadier. It was not until 1970 that the Army had its first one-star: Anna Mae Hays, chief of the Army Nurse Corps.
Women now make up about 14 percent of the active-duty Army and serve in a wide variety of by Deals Plugin Extensionassignments. They are still excluded from units designed primarily to engage in direct combat, such as infantry and tank units, but their opportunities have expanded enormously over the past two decades.
BackgroundIn an by Deals Plugin Extensionafter the ceremony, Gen.