By Jacqueline M. Hames,
Army News Service
WASHINGTON , D.C. — Gen. Ann E. Dunwoody
became the first female four-star general in the U.S. armed forces at
a promotion ceremony Nov. 14 at the Pentagon.
Chief of Staff of the Army Gen.
George W. Casey Jr. (left), pins the fourth star on Gen. Ann E.
Dunwoody at a Pentagon ceremony. Casey was assisted by Dunwoody’s
husband, Craig Brotchie. (Photo
by Jacqueline M. Hames)
"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."
Gen. George W. Casey Jr., chief of staff of the
Army, hosted the ceremony, praising Dunwoody as a "premiere
logistician." He thanked her for her dedicated service to the
Army, and wished her well.
"What’s happening here today is something
our Army can celebrate and take pride in," Casey said of her
Casey and Dunwoody’s husband, Craig Brotchie,
pinned on her new rank amidst applause and an enthusiastic "hooah"
from the audience.
The promotion ceremony in the Pentagon auditorium
was packed with well-wishers, friends and family. "We invited
everyone but the fire marshal," Gates said to the
"Well, thank you," Dunwoody said with a
smile after being promoted. "I wish I could begin to describe the
incredible feelings of gratitude, humility, and love that are
absolutely consuming me at this very moment. But it’s
Dunwoody said she feels fortunate to have lived a
life of firsts, and believes the promotion is "as overwhelming as
it is humbling."
Dunwoody was the first woman to hold the deputy
chief of staff position for the Army G-4 (Logistics), where 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 world.
As the commander of the Military Surface Deployment
and Distribution Command at Scott Air Force Base, Ill., from
2002-2004, Dunwoody supported the largest deployment and redeployment
of U.S. forces since World War II.
She also has also commanded the 407th Supply and
Transportation Battalion of the 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg,
N.C.; the 10th Mountain Division Support Command, Fort Drum, N.Y.; and
the 1st Corps Support Command at Fort Bragg. She deployed during the
first Gulf War with the 82nd as the Division Parachute Officer from
September 1990 to March 1991. Dunwoody received a direct commission as
a second lieutenant after graduating from the State University of New
York at Cortland in 1975. She has graduate degrees in national
resource strategy and logistics management. Her family has a long
history of military service, including her husband, who is a retired
U.S. Air Force colonel.
"This promotion has taken me back in time like
no other event in my entire life. And I didn’t appreciate the
enormity of the event until the tidal wave of cards, letters and
e-mails started coming my way," Dunwoody said.
"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.
In addition to receiving her fourth star, Dunwoody
also took command of U.S. Army Material Command (AMC), headquartered
at Fort Belvoir, Va., during an afternoon ceremony. As the commanding
general, Dunwoody will oversee AMC headquarters’ move to Huntsville,
Ala., under the 2005 Base Realignment Act. Prior to taking command,
she served as the deputy commanding general and chief of staff of AMC.
"Today is all about two simple words: thank
you," Dunwoody said.
(Editor’s note: Reports from AMC Public Affairs and Elizabeth M.
Collins contributed to this article.)