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First Female General Joins the Ranks at Fort Bragg

Posted July 12, 2000

— With more opportunities for women to move up in the ranks, the face of the military is changing. Thursday, Fort Bragg welcomed its first female general to post.

Brigadier General Ann Dunwoody, 47, assumed command of the 1st Corps Support Command.

The 25-year Army veteran has worked at strategic and tactical levels. Dunwoody believes her qualifications, not her gender, got her the job.

Fort Bragg's commander says Dunwoody is a mentor to women for what she has already accomplished.

"To young women out there who are seeing if there is the possibility for a career that allows them to get to greater heights, she serves as a tremendous role model," says Lt. Gen. William Kernan.

Dunwoody believes with determination, there is room for even more female leaders.

"I don't think there's another institution in the United States that equals the Army's progressiveness in equal opportunity employment," she says.

WRAL's military consultant, retired U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Robert Springer, says it has taken this long to see female generals because the opportunities for women were not always available.

"It was 1968 before we changed the law where only one female colonel was in the Army. In 1973, the draft was dropped and started bringing in more women who could see this as a career," says Springer.

Women still cannot serve on the front line in combat. That is governed by law.

General Dunwoody says she respects the policy, but believes if women are qualified and can meet the standards, they should be allowed to serve in any military profession.

Today, women make up 14 percent of the U.S. Armed Forces:

  • 190,000 women are on active duty protecting the United States.
  • 31,000 women are officers.
  • 28 women are generals or admirals.

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