Brigadier General Ann E. DunwoodyThis morning, the Army will be breaking another glass ceiling. Ann E. Dunwoody will become the first female American 4-star General. It’s not the first first for Dunwoody, whose career has been marked with declarations of “first female…”. Immediately after she gets her fourth star, she’ll be assuming a new command post – Army Materiel Command, responsible for outfitting, equipping and arming all soldiers. In June, when Bush nominated her, Dunwoody told an Army publication, “While I may be the first, I know I won’t be the last.”

Like most of the other women I know who have achieved firsts, she shrugs off the designation. She is, however, one of only 21 female Army Generals, and one of only 5 who have attained a rank above Brigadier General. We’ve actually come a long way in a fairly short time. The Army only appointed its first female General in 1970, 48 years ago. Today, with women making up 14% of the Army, they are represented among the ranks of Generals at the rate of 6.5% – 21 of 321 U.S. Army Generals are women. That puts us at about halfway there in terms of fair representation in the upper ranks of the Army. Compare that to the representation of women among top executives in private industry and among our lawmakers.

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