For The First Time In US Army History, Two Sisters Attain General's Rank

For The First Time In US Army History, Two Sisters Attain General's Rank

"Their success showcases how talented people can find multiple pathways to success serving in the Army.”

For the first time in 244 years, in the US Army's history, two sisters have attained the rank of general, reports Fox News. Major General Maria Barrett and her younger sister, Brigadier General Paula Lodi, grew up in a military family. They come from an army family as their father, Ruston Lodi, reportedly served in World War II and was the recipient of the Silver Star. Both the sisters come with quite an impressive resume, and it is a fresh change.  According to USA Today, "Maj. Gen. Maria Barrett and Brig. Gen. Paula Lodi represent the best America has to offer," said Acting Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy. "However, this comes as no surprise to those who have known them and loved them throughout this extraordinary journey. This is a proud moment for their families and for the Army."


So, fathers and brothers have all risen to general in the past, but the Army believes this is the first time two sisters have risen to this distinction. The military didn't officially accept women into its ranks until the Army Nursing Corps was established in 1901. Of course, women have served unofficially before that, and the  U.S. Army Women's Museum states that some even did so in disguise. 


Until all fields were opened in 2015, the Pentagon and Congress had limited the role of women in combat. However, since then, more than a dozen women have graduated from the Army's Ranger School, its proving ground for elite infantry soldiers. Overall, women make up more than 16% of the military's active-duty force of 1.3 million. In total, women account for 69 of the 417 generals and admirals.


Melissa Dalton, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and a former Defense Department official, said the sisters' achievement is a remarkable milestone for women in the military. She compared them to retired Army Gen. Ann Dunwoody, the first woman in any service to attain four stars. "For both men and women increasingly normalizing women in leadership positions matters," Dalton said. "The fact that it comes from the same family is an incredible accomplishment." 


When it came to seeking for role models, the sisters did not have to look any further. "Both of my parents were school teachers," Barrett said. "When my mother started having children, she got out, but she continued to be active in the community. So I do think probably underlying everything is that service component to it." "The fact that we're sisters, not brothers, I think it's a huge illustration of how far we've come as a service," said Lodi, 51. 


Gen. James McConville, the Army's chief of staff and top officer, has taken note of the sisters' success. “Maj. Gen. Maria Barrett and Brig. Gen. Paula Lodi are exceptional, proven leaders who’ve distinguished themselves over the course of their careers at various levels of command and during multiple combat tours," McConville said. "These officers serve in critical career fields and lead organizations essential to the Army mission. Their success showcases how talented people can find multiple pathways to success serving in the Army.”


Neither sister said they started out with the goal to be general officers, and both express pride in the other's accomplishments. "I don't think either one of us told us back in high school when we were both playing soccer together, that this is where we would be 27, 30 years from now," Barrett said. "I don't think either one of us would have told you that this is how the story would end."



Disclaimer : This is based on sources and we have been unable to verify this information independently.

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