Tuesday, November 18, 2008

First Woman Four Star General

Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. George W. Casey Jr. pins the fourth star on Gen. Ann E. Dunwoody during a ceremony at the Pentagon, Nov. 14. Casey is assisted by Dunwoody's husband, Craig Brotchie. Photo by Jacqueline M. Hames

General Ann E. Dunwoody was awarded the rank of four star general in a ceremony at the Pentagon on November 14, 2008. She is the first woman to achieve that rank in the U.S. Armed Forces.

Dunwoody said she feels fortunate to have lived a life of firsts, and believes the promotion is "as overwhelming as it is humbling."

"I've heard from moms and dads that see this promotion as a beacon of hope for their own daughters, and an affirmation that anything is possible through hard work and commitment," she said.

Dunwoody also received congratulations and expressions of excitement from female veterans of previous wars.

The promotion is the latest first for women in the military, dating back to 1970 when Brig. Gen. Anna Mae Hays was promoted the first female general officer in the U.S. military.

"History will no doubt take note of [Dunwoody's] achievement in breaking through this final 'brass ceiling' to pin on this fourth star," Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates said during opening remarks. "But she would rather be known and remembered first and foremost as a U.S. Army Soldier."

Dunwoody was nominated by President Bush in June.

Excerpted from Army promotes first woman to four-star general at www.army.mil.

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