Before a packed auditorium Friday, General Ann Dunwoody was awarded her fourth star - becoming our country's first four-star General. The ceremony precluded General Dunwoody's swearing in as commander of the Army Materiel Command at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, her birthplace. She was installed as the first female deputy commander there just five months ago.
President George W. Bush nominated General Dunwoody for her promotion in June and her nomination was confirmed by the Senate in July. Her career has spanned 33 years from her Army commission in 1975 after graduating from the State University of New York in 1975, through assignments in Germany and Saudi Arabia. She is married to a 26 year veteran of the Air Force, Craig Brotchie.
"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.' "
Her family has a long history of service - military men dating back to the 1800's. 89 year old Hal Dunwoody, her father, is a decorated veteran of WWII, Korea and Vietnam. He was in the audience, along with service chiefs of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines. Joint Chiefs chairman, Admiral Mike Mullen, was also in attendance.
Not bad for a woman who thought she'd serve in the Army for a couple of years then fulfill her career goal as a physical education teacher.
General Ann Dunwoody shatters the brass ceiling at age 55. Well done.
This post is featured on CNN.com under blog section for the article.