Woman reaches US army's top rank

From the BBC

An American woman has been promoted to four-star general - the first female to reach the US army's highest rank.

In her acceptance speech, Ann E Dunwoody said she had never expected to rise so high in the ranks in her 33-year career.

She said no one was more surprised than she and her husband. "Behind every successful woman there's an astonished man," she added.

There are 21 female generals, most of them one-star, in the US army.

Women make up 14% of the army's active-service strength of more than 500,000 soldiers.

'Open doors'
Gen Dunwoody comes from a long line of soldiers.
"A Dunwoody has fought in every American war since the Revolution," said army chief of staff Gen George Casey.

Gen Dunwoody is married to retired air force officer Craig Brotchie.
"There is no one more surprised than I, except of course, my husband," she told an auditorium packed with the military's top brass.
"And you know what they say, behind every successful woman there's an astonished man."
Defence Secretary Robert Gates said: "History will no doubt take note of [Dunwoody's] achievement in breaking through this final 'brass ceiling' to pin on this fourth star."
"But she would rather be known and remembered first and foremost as a US army soldier."
She is now head of the Army Materiel Command, in charge of weapons, equipment and uniforms for the army.
Women are barred from combat roles but have been allowed in the last two decades to serve in a wide variety of other positions.
"It's been my experience in my 33 years in the military that the doors have continued to open and the opportunities have continued to expand," she said.

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26 replies since 16th November 2008 • Last reply 16th November 2008

I think the reason not many women are in the army is not because of sexism, but cuz most women generally don't want to jump in mud and run around obsticle courses in all weather or want to use guns etc but the reason not many women have got so high up in the army is probably because of sexism. It's all changing now, thanks Barack.

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But i also think most women don't become that high, no matter how much women love to jump into the mud, cause we get pregant, and have to stayhome. And we generally stay at home, i don'tthink most men really stop even when their wives are pregant.

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I think some men do stop, I know alot of men who go on paternty leave.

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my dad came out of the army because they were planning me!

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None of the men I know stop if their wives are pregnant. Makes them want to protect their countries more.

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The phrase "Behind every successful woman is an astonished man" has made me so overwhelmingly angry and depressed that I can't even digest the rest of it.

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I think sexism is a part of it. I think it all is. I think sexism itself has made many woman feel that "jumping around in the mud" is unacceptable and unfeminine and men wouldn't want them if they were like that, because thats what we've been taught.


I know a lot of girls are really just like that, just like lots of men really don't like being dirty or guns or violence.


I just think everything is intertwined and it all has an impact.




I'm glad we're at the point where a woman CAN become a 4 star general.... I just wish we were at the point where it didn't matter if a woman was a 4 star general, noone even noticed she was a woman. I'm just waiting for that time.

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"I'm glad we're at the point where a woman CAN become a 4 star general.... I just wish we were at the point where it didn't matter if a woman was a 4 star general, noone even noticed she was a woman. I'm just waiting for that time."

Me too Dis.

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"It's all changing now, thanks Barack."

... wait. He has never said anything about women in the army. She has obviously worked hard for years to get where she is. Thank her for being an example of strength and determination.

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she is

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I'm getting bored of the Obama thing. He hasn't gotten rid of racism. He's a puppet - just happens to be a puppet for the democrats. He's already let me down by saying that he's not going into talks with Iran after all he said. But anyway..

And just like the Obama thing, this isn't proving a lot. There are still loads of things that women are excluded from in the army. Yes, wonderful, she did well, I won't take them from her, but she's still part of a corrupt hole from which women can never escape. I'll save my breath till things change for more than just woman.

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they should change for all

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ya she is an example of strength and determination RF (and KK) I was joking...

sometimes I think attention is drawn to things to get more readers...saying female guitarist or whatever seems to have more impact, exactly as Dis said it's all intertwined...this either gives you some hope or makes you feel a bit sick...I feel both!

Patricia Scotland has been made the Attorney General for England and Wales, in our Government. She is a woman obviously, but she is also black and in school she was told she should just carry on at Sainsbury's and be a supervisor one day when she said she wanted to be a lawyer, she said the woman who told her that wasn't being nasty but actually trying to protect her from disappointment. I tend to avoid thinking this way as much as possible, I just go insane, and just live the way I do without seeing my sex get in the way, I used to be a bit funny about men letting me getting on the bus first and stuff when I was in my early teens, now I know it's just manners lol

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I like it if someone holds a door open for me, or lets me off first, but not BECAUSE I'm a woman, just because they're being polite. Or even if it's because I'm a woman - but not because they feel obliged to.

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