Lt. Gen. Ann E. Dunwoody, a top logistics officer, was nominated by the president on Monday to receive her fourth star and assume the command of the Army Materiel Command, the branch responsible for supplying the Army with all its equipment. Her selection comes more than a decade after the first female three-star general was appointed to head up Army intelligence, and 38 years after the first two female Army Colonels were selected to receive stars.
"Women continue to achieve great success and make invaluable contributions to the defense of this nation," Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said in a statement. "This is an historic occasion for the Department of Defense."
Across all the branches, there are 57 female flag ranks, five of whom have three stars. Dunwoody was unavailable for comment, but a statement issued by the Army said that she was "very honored but also very humbled."
Dunwoody has long been considered the favorite to be the first female to earn a fourth star. She was commissioned in 1975, and comes from a family that has a long and rich history of military service. The promotion must still be approved by the Senate, but her confirmation is all but assured.