Gen. Ann E. Dunwoody has been selected to receive the 2011 Theodore Roosevelt award, the NCAA's highest honor.

Dunwoody is the first woman in U.S. military history to be promoted to the rank of four-star general and is the current Commanding General, U.S. Army Materiel Command.

She will accept her award during a ceremony at the NCAA Convention in January.

Dunwoody graduated with a degree in physical education from SUNY Cortland in 1975 and was directly commissioned into the Women's Army Corps. She received a master's of science in logistics management from the Florida Institute of Technology in 1988 and a master's of science degree in national resource strategy from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces in 1995.

She was a starter on both the tennis and gymnastics squads at SUNY Cortland, participating on both teams for four years. Her former coaches praised her hard work and said she never missed practice or competition and was usually the first to arrive and the last to leave.

When Dunwoody began her military career, women had yet to be admitted to West Point. Her brother, father, grandfather and great-grandfather all attended the U.S. Military Academy AcE+' a family history that stretches to 1866. Dunwoody's father was a career Army officer and a veteran of World War II and Korea, who also served in Vietnam during her college career.

In 1992 Dunwoody became the first woman to command a battalion in the 82nd Airborne Division. She was the first female general at Fort Bragg, N.C. and was the first woman to command the Combined Arms Support Command at Fort Lee, Va.

Dunwoody was deployed to Saudi Arabia for Operation Desert Storm as a division parachute officer for the 407th Supply and Transportation Battalion, 82nd Airborne Division. She served as the 1st Corps Support Command Commander in the deployment of the Logistics Task Force in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Dunwoody was promoted to the rank of four-star general in a ceremony at the Pentagon in 2008. Marking the occasion, U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said, "History will no doubt take note of her achievement in breaking through this final brass ceiling to pin on a fourth star, but she would rather be known and remembered, first and foremost, as a U.S. Army Soldier."

In a briefing to the press after the ceremony Dunwoody remarked, "I never grew up in an environment where I even heard of the words 'glass ceiling.' You could always be anything you wanted to be if you worked hard, and so I never felt constrained. I never felt like there were limitations on what I could do."

Dunwoody remains a proponent of an active lifestyle and enjoys running with her husband, retired Air Force Col. Craig Brotchie, and their springer spaniel, Barney.

Named after President Theodore Roosevelt, whose concern for the conduct of intercollegiate athletics led to the formation of the NCAA in 1906, this annual award is given to an individual "for whom competitive athletics in college and attention to physical well-being thereafter have been important factors in a distinguished career of national significance and achievement."

- Reprinted with the permission of the NCAA

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16