GEN Ann E. Dunwoody's Retirement Ceremony
Army Gen. Ann E. Dunwoody, former commanding general of the Army Materiel Command, salutes during the playing of the national anthem at her retirement ceremony on Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Va., Aug. 15, 2012. Dunwoody, the first woman in the U.S. military to achieve the rank of four-star general, retired after 38 years of service.

Good morning everyone and thank you for joining us on this wonderful morning to recognize Ann Dunwoody and her family. The Lord knows this is a special day. It's a 4-tuba day in the band, and any time there are 4 tubas, means it is going to be a very important ceremony. [Laughter] Today is a celebration to honor and bid farewell to a great American who ends her active duty Army career after nearly 38 years of unparalleled service to our Nation. The strength, courage, and fortitude of leaders like Ann Dunwoody are rare. Her personal goal to achieve tactical to theater support concepts that are transparent, responsive and efficient will be her lasting achievement.

Ann will leave here today with a Distinguished Service Medal and Certificate of Retirement -- tokens of admiration and gratitude, but her true legacy and reward will be thousands of Soldiers and Civilians whose lives she has touched over the span of her career. Ann is a leader who lived our Army values, who always led from the front, and who dedicated herself to the Profession of Arms. In my mind, Ann Dunwoody is the epitome of the Army Professional.

I'd like to recognize the Soldiers standing on Summerall Field who represent the exacting standards and discipline inherent to the greatest Army in the world. Soldiers of the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) - led by Commander of Troops, COL James Markert. You look great. The U.S. Army Band (Pershing's Own), conducted by COL Tom Palmatier; Continental Color Guard, led by SGT Daniel Bono; Presidential Salute Battery, led by CPT Dan McNally & SSG Cesar Collado; and the Fife & Drum Crops, led by CW4 Frederick Ellwein.

I believe it is quite fitting that Ann is retiring from her 38-year Army career at this iconic installation, as the Dunwoody family lineage at Ft. Myer dates back generations to the late 1800s. Ann is a fourth-generation Army Soldier. Her great-grandfather, grandfather, father, and brother were graduates of the U.S. Military Academy. My guess is the only reason Ann didn't follow in their footsteps was because the Army was too slow to allow women into West Point so she took another route.

A member of the Dunwoody family has served in every conflict since the Revolutionary War. Ann's Great-Grandfather, Brigadier Genera (Ret) H.H.C. Dunwoody, a Veteran of the Spanish-American War, was one of the Army's early Signal Corps officers. He served under BG Albert Myer for whom Ft. Myer was named. Shortly after, in 1901 -- 111 years ago -- BG Dunwoody was the Commander here. Ann's father, BG (Ret) Harold Dunwoody, is not able to join us here today. I can only imagine how proud he is of his daughter. I would like to recognize his service. He is a 3-war Veteran, and was awarded a Distinguished Service Cross in the Korean War as well as 2 Purple Hearts -- from WWII and Korea -- for his valorous service.

The lineage of the Dunwoody family is unprecedented, stretching across generations, and culminating with General Ann Dunwoody becoming the first female four-star general in the history of the United States. And at her side has been her partner and teammate, Colonel (Ret) Craig Brotchie. These two have a great story of how they ran into each other, literally. Many who have worked with Ann know her dedication to physical fitness. Any day she doesn't get her PT in makes for a long day for her staff. Back in 1986, Ann and Craig were in the same class at the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, KS. On the 2-mile run of the PT test, Craig came in first. Ann came in 3rd. My story is she was so upset an Air Force officer beat her, she had to get more info on him. [Laughter] From there, they became running partners and for the next 22 years, they are still married and still running together.

In fact, I know that on many mornings at Ft. Bragg, NC, Craig would be out there running with several Army spouses, and in many races, and that's how he would build relationships. Craig had a stellar 26 year career in the Air Force to include becoming a Master Parachutist, Combat Diver and Air Traffic Controller. It's been said that "when some people retire, it's hard to tell the difference" and that's been the case with Craig, who dedicated himself to Families and Wounded Warriors, especially to our Special Operations Forces. Thanks for all you've done for our Nation, Craig -- and especially for our Army Families and Wounded Warriors. We're indebted to you. Thank you.

I'd like to welcome Craig's two sons who are also here: Scott and wife Alicia -- Ann and Craig's grandkids are Paige (3) and Alex (7 months). I'm so glad to have you here. Bryan - from Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. Welcome also to Ann's 2 sisters and brother and their families who have all traveled from across the U.S. to be here. Welcome to Ann's sister, Jackie and her husband Steve Baker -- also with them is Ann's niece, Jamie and her husband John Gresley. Ann's other sister, Lieutenant Colonel (Ret) Sue Schoek and husband, retired Air Force Colonel, Jim Schoek with Ann's other niece, Air Force Major Jennie Hall, husband Fred and 9 month old daughter Halsey. And I'd also like to welcome Sue's brother, Buck. Thank you all for coming.

The presence of so many distinguished guests here offers a powerful statement about the stature and impact of the Soldier we are honoring today. We are welcome to also have with us: Patty Shinseki, spouse of Secretary Eric Shinseki, Department of Veterans Affairs. It's great to have you here Sir. General David & Holly Petraeus (Director of the CIA); General Martin & Deanie Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; Generals (Ret) Carl Vuono, Gordan Sullivan and Dennis Reimer -- all former Army Chiefs of Staff; Hon. Les Brownlee, former Under Secretary of the Army; Hon. Alan Estevez, the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Logistics & Material Readiness; General Lloyd & Charlene Austin, Army Vice Chief of Staff; General (Ret) John Tilelli; Assistant Secretaries of the Army: Hon. Mary Sally Matiella, Katherine Hammack, Heidi Shyu; Hon. Mike Montelongo, former Air Force Assistance Secretary Comptroller; General Dennis & Linda Via; SMA Raymond & Jeanne Chandler; Retired Generals: William Tuttle, Crosbie Saint, Johnnie Wilson, John Coburn, Dan McNeill, Dave McKiernan, Skip Sharp and Annie McCrystal. Thanks for coming. To the host of other dignitaries hereā€¦. Fellow General Officers, Distinguished Guests -- thank you all for coming.

Today, we honor one of the brightest innovators and logisticians in our Army's history. But I want to talk about Ann Dunwoody -- the Soldier -- and go over just a few things she has done for our Army. Last week, Ann relinquished her command at Army Material Command. She's commanded at all levels from Company to Army. The span of her military assignments highlight the impact that one person can have on our institution. Her career began in 1974 and in 1975, she received a direct commission in the Women's Army Corps. Ann "planned to only stay in the Army to complete her two-year commitment," so Ann, I guess after an additional 18 2-year tours, we will let you go now. The Quartermaster Corps offered her the opportunity to jump out of airplanes, so as a new 2LT, this was obviously her first choice.

Ann's first assignment as platoon leader in the Army was with the 226th Maintenance Company at Fort Sill, OK. Two years later, she served as Company Commander of the same unit. In 1988, Ann -- then a major -- was assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division at Ft. Bragg as the Property Book Officer, a job I know we'd all like to have. [Laughter]. This is one of the most difficult jobs in the Army. She was responsible to account for all the equipment for the 14,000 Soldiers in the Division. She deployed with the 82nd to Saudi Arabia in support of Operations Desert Shield/Desert Storm as the Division Parachute Officer.

It was a significant victory for the Army when Ann was selected to serve as "Griffin 6" - the first female Battalion Commander of the 407th Supply and Transportation Battalion, the Division's largest battalion at the time. Ann also had the privilege of commanding the 782nd Main Support Battalion in the 82nd as well. Six years after she left the 82nd Airborne Division as a Battalion Commander, Ann returned as the first female General Officer assigned to Fort Bragg. From there, her assignments as a General Officer and senior Army logistician have displayed the diversity of her talent in the logistics field. As Commander, 1st Corps Support Command of the XVIII Airborne Corps, she deployed the logistics task force that supported the first Soldiers in Afghanistan at the start of Operation Enduring Freedom. As Commander, Military Traffic Management Command (MTMC), she supported the largest deployment of US military forces since WWII. As Commander, Combined Armed Services Command (CASCOM), she transformed this command to a multi-functional logistics organization postured to transition to a Logistics Corps. As the Deputy Chief of Staff G-4, she transformed the Army G4 to better align today's wartime mission and tomorrow's future needs.

It was Ann's most recent role as the Commander of the Army Material Command in which she unified global logistics in a way never been done before. She capitalized AMC's fundamental logistics functions to maximize the efficiency and services they provided, from Supply, Maintenance, Contract 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.

Ann - the property books you fixed, the systems you overhauled, and the processes you streamlined - these are lasting effects that will always bear your imprint. But it is the thousands of men and women, military and civilian, who have been influenced by Ann Dunwoody, who will carry the torch into the future that is your true legacy. You have shown pride in your units, you have challenged your subordinates, you have been loyal to your leaders, you have been a friend to your colleagues, and you have been a selfless servant to those who have been placed in your charge. You have made every unit you have ever been assigned to a better unit. Your legacy is clear in what you have done for the Army, but it is also what you have done for women in the military. You became the Army's first female four-star general in the Army and the Armed Forces not because you are a woman, but because you are a brilliant, dedicated officer and quite simply, the best logistician the Army has ever had. You have set the shining example for all Soldiers, especially our young leaders.

Ann, you have spent your entire career in logistics dedicated to ensuring Soldiers have what they need, no matter where they are. Leave the active ranks knowing that your faithful stewardship has passed into the capable and spirited hands of those who you have influenced through your efforts, through your example, through your mentorship and through your selfless service to our Army. Rest assured they will not fail you, nor will they fail our Nation.

Today, I personally lose a friend, a confidant, and a trusted advisor. But more importantly, the Army loses a Soldier leader. One who was always dedicated to her Soldiers, her unit, her Army and the Nation. Ann and Craig -- on behalf of a grateful Army, thank you for your many years of service, and for what you have done and will continue to do in retirement. I wish you both -- and Barney -- the very best in this next chapter of your lives as you enjoy your retirements in Florida. Linda and I will be down to Tampa to smoke some cigars and play some golf soon, so we'll see you then. Thank you for your service, and Godspeed as you transition to the next phase of your lives. God bless you. The Strength of our Nation is our Army, the Strength of the Army is our Soldiers, the Strength of our Soldiers is our Families, and that's what makes us Army Strong.

Page last updated Thu August 16th, 2012 at 00:00