Breaking the Brass Ceiling
Back in June:
President Bush has nominated Lt. Gen. Ann E. Dunwoody to take over the Army's Materiel Command as a four-star general, and if confirmed by the Senate she would be the first woman in U.S. history to receive such a high military rank.
In announcing the nomination yesterday, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates praised Dunwoody's "extraordinary leadership and devotion to duty" and called the choice "an historic occasion." There are 57 active-duty female general officers in the U.S. armed forces, five of whom are three-star generals. About 5 percent of the Army's general officers are women.
General Dunwoody achieved that promotion on Friday.
From her speech:
"Thirty-three years after I took the oath as a second lieutenant, I have to tell you this is not exactly how I envisioned my life unfolding," she told a standing-room-only auditorium. "Even as a young kid, all I ever wanted to do was teach physical education and raise a family."
"It was clear to me that my Army experience was just going to be a two-year detour en route to my fitness profession," she added. "So when asked, 'Ann, did you ever think you were going to be a general officer, to say nothing about a four-star?' I say, 'Not in my wildest dreams.'
"This promotion has taken me back in time like no other event in my entire life," she said. "And I didn't appreciate the enormity of the events until tidal waves of cards, letters, and e-mails started coming my way.
"And I've heard from men and women, from every branch of service, from every region of our country, and every corner of the world. I've heard from moms and dads who see this promotion as a beacon of home for their own daughters and after affirmation that anything is possible through hard work and commitment.
"And I've heard from women veterans of all wars, many who just wanted to say congratulations; some who just wanted to say thanks; and still other who just wanted to say they were so happy this day had finally come."
Lt. General Dunwoody nominated to receive 4th star
Jun 23, 2008
The Defense Department announced today, June 23, Lt. Gen. Ann E. Dunwoody is nominated for appointment to the rank of general and assignment as U.S. Army Materiel Command commanding general.
If confirmed by Congress, Dunwoody would become the first woman in the U.S. Armed Forces to attain the rank of general. Approximately five percent of general officers in the Army are women, which includes mobilized Army Reserve and Army National Guard general officers.
"Lt. Gen. Dunwoody's leadership, character and career have best prepared her to lead the Army Materiel Command," said Secretary of the Army Pete Geren. "She will bring 33 years of experience to over 56 thousand Soldiers, DA Civilians, and their Families in 40 states and 50 countries as she serves as the next commanding general of Army Materiel Command."
Prior to taking her current assignment as deputy commanding general and chief of staff, U.S. Army Materiel Command at Fort Belvoir, Va., Dunwoody served as the deputy chief of staff, G-4 at the Pentagon. She was responsible for ensuring warfighters had the necessary supplies and services, and that logisticians had the tools and equipment necessary to deliver those supplies and services to Soldiers around the globe.
"This is an important day for the Dunwoody family, the military and the Nation," said Gen. George W. Casey, Chief of Staff of the Army. "Lt. Gen. Dunwoody's nomination not only underscores her significant contributions and success throughout 33 years of service, but also shows the level of possible opportunity in our Army's diverse, quality all-volunteer force. Our Nation will continue to benefit from Lt. Gen. Dunwoody's leadership as the Army continues to build strength from our diversity."
Dunwoody, a native of New York, received a direct commission after graduating from the State University of New York in 1975. Since her first assignment in 1976 as a platoon leader at Fort Sill, Okla., Dunwoody has commanded at every level. Dunwoody comes from a family with a long tradition of military service, including her great grandfather, grandfather, father, brother, sister, niece and husband.
I am very honored but also very humbled today with this announcement," said Dunwoody. "I grew up in a family that didn't know what glass ceilings were. This nomination only reaffirms what I have known to be true about the military throughout my career ... that the doors continue to open for men and women in uniform. My focus right now is to be the best deputy I can be."
Dunwoody's awards and badges include the Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Master Parachutist Badge, Parachutist Rigger Badge and the Army Staff Identification Badge.
Title of this post inspired by Pondering Penguin