General George William Casey, Jr.
Chief of Staff of the Army
LTG (P) Ann Dunwoody Promotion to General
14 November 2008


General Casey: Good morning everybody. It's great to see you.

I've done a lot of these. I must say I don't think I've ever done one where there has been such a collective smile. [Laughter].

Mr. Secretary, thank you very much for joining us and for your remarks. My partner and boss, Pete Geren, great to see you here.

Chairman Mullen and my colleagues from the Joint Chiefs; my predecessors: Pete Schoomaker, Denny Reimer, and Patty Shinseki - nice to see you Patty. And all of the members of the Secretariat from both the Department of Defense and from the Office of the Secretary. It's great to have you here.

Mentors and colleagues of Ann's from all throughout her service, and most especially the Dunwoody-Brochie clan down here in the front left. [Laughter].

I especially want to recognize Hal Dunwoody, Ann's dad, who's here with us today. Hal was a veteran of three wars - World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. He wears the Distinguished Service Cross that he won in Korea. A minor battle, as his battalion's position was overrun and then retaken. So Hal, thank you first for your service, and for sharing your daughter with us. [Applause].

Some of you may not know that it's not just Hal that has a history in the military. A Dunwoody has fought in every American war since the Revolution. I actually got a glimpse of that last week when I was visiting Fort Monmouth, New Jersey. We were driving down the street and I saw this sign that said, "Dunwoody Park." I said, "Pull over, let's check that out." [Laughter]. I thought she was anticipating her AMC command... [Laughter].

It turns out that the park was named after Ann's great-grandfather, Brigadier General Henry Garrison Chase Dunwoody, who was the Chief Signal Officer in Cuba from 1898 to 1901. So it is indeed a great Army Family.

I'd like to share with you another bit of Army history because Ann's career, at least in part, is part of our history. Let me take you back to June 1975. It was the same month that Hal was pinning a 2nd lieutenant's bar on his daughter-very proudly I might add. At that same time, our Army was completing and unveiling a study by the Army Research Institute entitled "Army Attitudes Concerning Job Appropriateness for Women in the Army." This study of hundreds of officers and Soldiers were surveyed on their thoughts on appropriateness of jobs for women. This is going to be an audience participation exercise... [Laughter].

The number one job in 1975 that the officers and enlisted men and women of the Army thought was appropriate for women was'

Audience [unanimously]: Nurse!

General Casey: Cooks! That was 98 percent of the men and 97 percent of the women. This was followed closely by social worker and human relations officer at about the same numbers. Fortunately for Ann, also on the list was parachute rigger. [Laughter]. And 70 percent of the enlisted women-only 70 percent of the enlisted women-thought that was an appropriate job for women! Even fewer men, less than 70 percent, thought that women could handle the challenges of commanding what was called at that time a "mixed-sex company". I'm going to leave that alone. [Laughter]. 85 percent of the women surveyed at that time thought they could handle the challenge.

So that's the Army that Ann Dunwoody entered-an institution just figuring out how to deal with the full potential of an All-Volunteer Army, and not yet ready to leverage the strengths of each individual Soldier in its ranks. Ann's career has mirrored our progress.

When Ann was still in high school, the Army promoted its first female officers to brigadier general: Anna Mae Hays, Chief of the Army Nurse Corps; and Elizabeth Hoisington, Director of the Women's Army Corps.

Eight years after that, in 1978, when Ann was a supply platoon leader at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, the Army promoted the first woman to major general-Major General Mary Clarke, who commanded Fort McClellan, Alabama. We also disbanded the Women's Army Corps that year.

A year later, Ann took command of one of those "mixed-sex" companies, the first of her eight-and soon to be-nine commands.

Nineteen years after that, in 1997, when Ann was commanding the 10th Mountain Division Division Support Command at Fort Drum, we promoted our first female officer to lieutenant general, Lieutenant General Claudia Kennedy.

Eight years later, in 2005, when Ann was the first woman commanding the Combined Arms Support Center at Fort Lee, Sergeant Leigh Ann Hester became the first woman since World War II to be awarded the Silver Star, and the first woman to receive the award for bravery in direct-fire combat.

Three years after that, here we are. Thirty-three years after the Army commissioned Ann Dunwoody, we are now promoting her to four-star general. This came as no surprise to all of us that knew Ann because first and foremost, we knew her as a Soldier. And we knew her as a leader. Over a third of her career has been in command of troops. Two companies, two battalions, a division support command, and three flag-officer commands. She's also, as the Secretary said, one of our premier logisticians. This afternoon, she'll take the reins of Army Materiel Command-one of our largest commands and a Fortune 100-sized organization with almost 130,000 men and women scattered across the globe in about 150 different locations.

Ann's ready to lead these men and women who are unwavering in their devotion to support the war effort.

Ann, although this might have taken you a bit by surprise, as I said, it's what we all have expected. You've proudly carried on your Family's tradition of remarkable and selfless service, and for over three decades you've put Soldiers first. Congratulations to you. [Applause].

Along the way Ann has had the full support of the person sitting to her left, Craig Brochie, known fondly around the Army as "Mr. Wonderful." [Laughter]. Craig's a 26-year Air Force veteran, and he's sporting his best airborne haircut today. [Laughter].

They met at the Command and General Staff College as majors, and over the years, Craig has been the one who made sure Ann got up, got her PT, got her coffee, and got off to work with her lunch. [Laughter and applause].

Craig has taken on the role that you would expect of a flag officer's spouse, and I am told that the four-star spouses' conferences now are a lot more fun. [Laughter].

Today's a great day for Ann, Craig and their Families. It's no surprise that in the days following the announcement of Ann's promotion they were deluged with e-mails and letters. I'd like to share one of those letters with you because I think it captures the spirit of the day:

"You won't remember me Ma'am, but I worked with you on a few occasions back when you commanded the 782nd at Ft. Bragg back in the early 90's. To this day, I remember you as one of the most gifted officers I've worked with in my 17 years in the military. Now, you get to pin on our nation's highest military rank and I get to tell my 5 and 7 year old daughters that they really can be anything they want to be, even a General in the U.S. Army! Now that is change and progress that makes me proud to be an American soldier. Hooah! Congratulations, MSG Michael Burgenger."

Although it's taken a long time-probably longer than it should have-what's happening here today is something our entire Army can celebrate and take pride in. Today we're lucky to live in extraordinary times, times that propel us closer to the ideals we stand for, live by, and defend.

Ann Dunwoody's 33-year career has been about opening doors and literally jumping through them. Her notable firsts have opened doors for other women along the way, and will continue to do so for our Army and across America.

So as we look ahead, we still have more to do, but I'm reminded of something that Colin Powell said this past summer at the 60th Anniversary of Executive Order 9981, the order that President Truman issued to desegregate the military. In speaking about how far we have come he said, "Let's not rest on our laurels as long as there is one kid out there wondering, 'can I dream in America' Can I get to the very top'' The answer has to be, 'yes, I can.'"

So Ann, thank you for being a pioneer. Thank you for being a Soldier. Good luck to you and your Family, and God bless you all. Thank you. [Applause].

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Page last updated Wed November 19th, 2008 at 15:17