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United States Army

Founded in 1775, the United States Army is the oldest branch of the United States Military. This page displays information on some of the influential women among the ranks of the nation's Army.

See here for the official US Army page.

Follow the links below for women in other branches of the United States military. 



Brigadier General Tammy S. Smith

On June 11, 2012 Brigadier General Smith became responsible for integrating strategic human resources policy with operational requirements to improve and sustain long-term personal readiness across the Army Reserve as the Director of Human Capital Core Enterprise. She is the first openly gay general. She and her spouse are avid volunteers for military family support events in the metro DC area. From December 2010 to October 2011 Brig. Gen. Smith served as the chief of the Army Reserve affairs. From October 2011 to June 2012, she served as the Chief of Army Reserve.

Brig. Gen. Smith graduated from the University of Oregon in 1986 and was commissioned as a Second lieutenant in the Quartermaster Corps. She has served in a variety of logistics, operations, training, and personnel assignments, including initial entry training/basic combat training units, and the Department of Army Staff. In 2010 she deployed in support of OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM where she served as the Chief, Army Reserve Affairs. Prior to this assignment, she served as Chief, General Officer management Office and Director, Senior Leader Development Office for the Army Reserve.

Awards:

  • Legion of Merit Medal
  • Bronze Star Medal
  • Meritorious Service Medals, Two Oak Leaf Clusters
  • Army Commendation Medals (four oak leaf clusters)
  • Afghanistan Campaign Medal
  • Combat Action Badge
  • Senior Parachutist Badge
  •  Parachute Rigger Badge
  • Army Staff Badge 

For more information see here.


Army General Ann Dunwoody

General Ann E. Dunwoody was the first woman to serve as a four-star general in both the Army and the U.S. armed forces. She retired in August of 2012 after serving 38 years in uniform.

General Ann Dunwoody was inspired by her Brigadier General father, and joined the Army in 1974. She was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Women's Army Corps in 1975. Her first assignment was a supply platoon leader and since has served at every level of command.

Most recently, Dunwoody served as commander of the Army Materiel Command, which is one of the largest commands in the Army. The command employs more than 69,000 employees across all 50 states and 145 countries. She capitalized AMC's fundamental logistics functions to maximize the efficiency and services they provided of supply, maintenance, contact support, research and development, base and installation support, and deployment and distribution. She connected AMC not only to the Army, but ensured the joint force was always ready and supplied as well.

In 2008, Dunwoody was promoted to general making her the first woman in the U.S. military to be promoted to that rank. Her hard work, dedication and performance were recognized for making significant history within the military for women.

She has been recognized as a 2001 Distinguished Alumni for the State University of New York at Cortland, the 2004 recipient of the National Defense Transportation Association's DoD Distinguished Service Award, the 2007 recipient of the Military Order of the World Wars (MOWW) Distinguished Service Award, the 2009 recipient of the Association of the Industrial College of the Armed Forces Eisenhower Award, the 2011 recipient of the National Collegiate Athletic Association's Theodore Roosevelt Award, and a 2011 recipient of the French National Order of Merit.

Awards and Decorations:

  • Distinguished Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster
  • Defense Superior Service Medal
  • Legion of Merit with two Oak Leaf Clusters
  • Defense Meritorious Service Medal
  • Meritorious Service Medal with Silver Oak Leaf Cluster
  • Army Commendation Medal
  • The Army Achievement Medal
  • The National Defense Service Medal with Bronze Star
  • Southwest Asia Service Medal (2 campaign stars)
  • The Kuwait Liberation Medal.

Badges

  • The Master Parachutist Badge
  • The Parachute Rigger Badge


Brigadier General Coral Pietsch

Coral Wong Pietsch was the first-ever female general officer in the Judge Advocate General Corps. She was also the first Asian American woman to reach the rank of Brigadier General in the United States Army.

Following her active duty service at Eighth Army in Korea and at Fort Shafter in Hawaii, Brig. Gen. Pietsch worked as a deputy attorney general for the State of Hawaii for six years. Then, she became a civilian attorney at Headquarters, U.S. Army Pacific, Fort Shafte.

She previously served as the senior civilian attorney at USARPAC and chief of the Civil Law Division in the staff judge advocate's office. She supervised a staff of attorneys whose areas of expertise include administrative law, contract law, environmental law, ethics, fiscal law, operational law, and personnel and labor law for a major Army command. Along with other positions, Brig. Gen. Pietsch served as the former Chair of the Hawaii Civil Rights Commission.

President Obama nominated Brig. Gen. Pietsch in 2011 to the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, later being confirmed by the Senate on May 24th, 2012.


Sargent Leigh Ann Hester

Sgt. Leigh Ann Hester was assigned to the 617th Military Police Company, a Kentucky Army National Guard unit in Richmond, Kentucky. During an enemy ambush on a supply convoy near the town of Salman Pak, Iraq, Sgt. Hester led her team directly into the line of fire and began an assault on a trench line. She and her squad leader cleared two trenches. When the attack was over, 27 insurgents were dead, six were wounded, and one was captured.

In June 2005, Hester received the Silver Star Medal for exceptional valor at the age of 23. She became the first woman to earn the Silver Star Medal since World War II. Hester has been in the National Guard since April 2001, but took a brief break from the U.S. Army in 2009 to become a civilian law enforcement officer in Nashville, Tennessee. She returned to the Army in 2010.

Awards and Decorations:

  • Silver Star
  • Army Commendation Medal
  • NCO Professional Development Ribbon
  • Army Service Ribbon
  • Combat Action Badge

For more information see here.


Brigadier General Colleen L. McGuire

Brig. Gen. Colleen L. McGuire is a retired officer of the United States Army and served for 33 years. She assumes the Army's top law-enforcement position after serving since March of 2009 as head of the Army Suicide Prevention Task Force.

She was also Commanding General of the United States Army Criminal Investigation Command and the 13th Provost Marshal General, being the first woman to hold either position. Brigadier General McGuire was also the first female to be commandant of the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks of Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

McGuire assumed her last command on January 14, 2009. Other positions she has served as were Director of the Senior Leader Development Office and Office of the Chief of Staff. In 2010, she was awarded the University of Montana Distinguished Alumni Award.

Awards and Decorations:

  • Legion of Merit (with two oak-leaf clusters)
  • The Bronze Star Medal
  • The Defense Meritorious Service Medal
  • The Meritorious Service Medal (with four oak-leaf clusters)
  • The Joint Service Commendation Medal
  • The Army Commendation Medal (with three oak-leaf clusters)
  •  The Army Achievement Medal (with three oak-leaf clusters)
  •  The Iraqi Campaign Medal
  • The Senior Parachutist's Badge
  • The Army Staff Identification Badge


Lieutenant General Claudia J. Kennedy

Lt. General Claudia J. Kennedy was the Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence and is the first woman promoted to three star general flag rank in the United States Army. She retired in 2000, after serving 31 years in the military service. Currently, Lt. general Kennedy is serving as co-chair of the Platform Committee of the 2012 Democratic National Convention.

Lt. General Kennedy has held a variety of command and staff positions throughout her career. Key assignments include: Commander, 3d Operations Battalion, U.S. Army Field Station Augsburg, Germany; Commander, San Antonio Recruiting Battalion, U.S. Army Recruiting Command; and Commander, 703d Military intelligence Brigade, Field Station Kunia, Hawaii.

She has served as Operations Officer, U.S. Army Field Station Augsburg, U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command; Staff Officer, Directorate of Training, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations and Plans, Washington, DC; the Director of Intelligence, G2, Forces Command, Fort McPherson, Georgia, as Deputy Commander, U.S. Army Intelligence Center and Fort Huachuca/Assistant Commandant, U.S. Army Intelligence School at Fort Huachuca, Arizona; and as the Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence at Headquarters, Department of the Army, Washington, DC.

Lt. General Kennedy was also appointed by the United States Secretary of Defense to be the chairwoman of the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services in 2010.

Awards and Decorations

  • Legion of Merit (with three oak leaf clusters)
  • Defense Meritorious Service Medal
  • Meritorious Service Medal (with three oak leaf clusters)
  • Army Commendation Medal (with three oak leaf clusters)
  • Army Staff Identification Badge


Major Rhonda L. Cornum

Rhonda L. Cornum embarked on a combat search a rescue mission to recover an Air Force pilot shot down over Iraq during Desert Storm in February of 1991, The UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter she was aboard crashed as a result of Iraqi anti-aircraft fire.

Being one of only three survivors from the eight-member crew, Major Cornum was captured and taken prisoner by the Iraqi Republican Guard. Suffering two broken arms, a severely damaged leg, and gunshot and shrapnel wounds in her shoulder and head, she survived imprisonment behind Iraqi enemy lines. She wrote her experiences and published the book “She Went to War: The Rhonda Cornum Story”.

On March 6, 1991, she was repatriated and one of only two women POWs from the Gulf war. Although U.S. law prohibited women from serving in combat roles, her experiences and open dialogue as a POW helped pave the way for continued Congressional expansion of military women in combat roles.

She became the first medical officer to graduate Air Command and Staff College and was also the first female commander of Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Germany, leading medical treatment for over 26,000 injured Iraq and Afghanistan veterans.

Awards and Decorations:

  • The Distinguished Service Medal
  • The Legion of Merit
  • The Distinguished Flying Cross
  • The Bronze Star, Purple Heart
  • Air Medal
  • POW Medal and others for her service

Brigadier General Margaret W. Burcham

Brigadier General Margaret W. Burcham is commander of the Great Lakes and Ohio River Division, headquartered in Cincinnati Ohio, the first woman to hold this position. President Barack Obama officially appointed her as a member of the Mississippi River Commission May 28, 2013. She also became the first woman to be promoted to general officer in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 2012. Brigadier General Burcham previously served at the Pentagon as the Chief of the Joint Capabilities Division of the Resources, Assessments and Force Management Directorate, and commanded Gulf Region North Engineer District in Iraq and Europe Engineer District.

Commissioned in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers upon graduation from the United States Military Academy at West Point, NY in 1982, Brigadier General Burcham later received a master's in Computer Science from Kansas State University. Her military education includes the Engineer Officer Basic and Advanced Courses, the Combined Arms Services Staff School, the Command and General Staff Officers Course, and the Senior Service College, Industrial College of the Armed Forces.

Awards and Decorations:

  • The Defense Superior Service Medal
  • The Legion of Merit, the Meritorious Service Medal (six Oak Leaf Clusters)
  • The Army Commendation Medal (two Oak Leaf Clusters)
  • The Army Achievement Medal
  • The National Defense Service Medal (one Bronze Service Star)
  • The Iraqi Campaign Medal
  • The Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
  • The Korea Defense Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon
  • The Overseas Service Ribbon (numeral 5)
  • The Army Superior Unit Award
  • The Joint Staff Badge
  • The Parachutist Badge

For more information see here.


Army Spc. Monica Lin Brown

Monica Brown is serving with the 4th Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team.

Monica Brown was awarded the Silver Star at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, in 2008 by Vice President Dick Cheney for her actions on April 25, 2007, during a combat patrol. Army Spc. Brown was a medic with the 82nd Airborne Division when she saved the lives of fellow soldiers after a roadside bomb tore through a convoy of Humvees in the eastern Paktia province. Her actions to move Soldiers away from incoming fire and provide medical care earned her recognition for gallant actions during combat.

Sgt. Monica Brown is the second female Soldier since World War II to be awarded the Silver Star.

Awards and Decorations:

  • The Silver Star
  • Army Commendation Medal
  • Army Achievement Medal
  • National Defense Service Medal
  • Afghanistan Campaign Medal
  • Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
  • Army Overseas Service Medal
  • NCO Professional Development Ribbon
  • Army Service Ribbon
  • Presidential Unit Citation
  • Meritorious Unit Commendation (with bronze oak leaf cluster)
  • Army Superior Unit Award
  • NATO Medal (with ISAF clasp)
  • Combat Medical Badge
  • Basic Parachutist Badge
  • German Parachutist Badge in bronze

For more information see here.


Major General Marcia M. Anderson

Major General Anderson is currently on active duty as the Deputy Chief, Army Reserve and is temporarily assigned to the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army, Manpower and Reserve Affairs as the Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary Army - Training Readiness and Mobilization.

She has recently returned to active duty to lead the Total Army Personnel Integration Task Force. This Task Force was developed to improving policies, processes and procedures to create an integrated total force that fully leverages Human Capital capabilities and resources.

Maj. Gen Marcia M. Anderson became the Army's first-ever female African-American officer to obtain the rank of major general during a ceremony at Fort Knox, Kentucky on October 1, 2011.

She had previously assumed responsibility as Deputy Commander of the U.S. Army Human Resources Command in 2010. She has also served in a variety of staff positions at Battalion, Brigade, and Division level to include S-1, S-3, S-4, and G-1, as well as an Assistant Division G-3.

Awards and Decorations:

  • The Legion of Merit (with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster)
  • The Meritorious Service Medal (with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters
  • Army Commendation Medal
  • Army Achievement Medal
  • Parachutist Badge
  • Physical Fitness Badge.

Captain Kristen Marie Griest
As part of Ranger Class 08-15 at Fort Benning, Georgia, Captain Kristen Griest was one of the first two women to ever earn her Ranger tab. With a 58% overall failure rate, the Ranger School is considered as one of the military's most physically and demanding courses.     

Griest was a track and softball star at her high School in Connecticut. After graduating from the US Military Academy at West Point in 2011, Griest sought to come as close as possible to serving in combat and went into the Miitary Police. With 381 men and 18 other women, she began Ranger training in spring 2015 as part of the first gender-integrated class. Although Griest had failed the course, her good performance in some phases of the course allowed her to restart the course and ultimately complete it. She expressed interest in a special forces career should the path become open to women.

For more information, see here

1st Lieutenant Shaye Haver
As part of Ranger Class 08-15 at Fort Benning, Georgia, 1st Lieutenant Shaye Haver was one of the first two women to ever earn her Ranger tab. With a 58% overall failure rate, the Ranger School is considered as one of the military's most physically and demanding courses.     

Haver came from Copperas Cove, Texas, and graduated from the US Military Academy at West Point in 2012. She is an AH-64 Apache pilot  stationed at Fort Carson, Colorado. With 18 other women, she began Ranger training in spring 2015 as part of the first gender-integrated class. Although Haver had failed the course, her good performance in some phases of the course allowed her to restart the course and ultimately complete it. Haver says that she plans to continue as a pilot not that she has completed the course.

For more information, see here