"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."
INCREDIBLE! Maj. Gen. Maria Barrett and her younger sister Brig. Gen. Paula Lodi became what the Army believes to be the first pair of sister generals. https://t.co/lR6zYWcZai— WSVN 7 News (@wsvn) September 9, 2019
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.
Sisters make military history https://t.co/I10O1Gj144; Congratulations to Maj. Gen. Maria Lodi Barrett and her younger sister Brig. Gen. Paula Lodi. Well done, ladies and I salute you both.— Zan Eskelson (@Zan_Eskelson) September 6, 2019
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.
Wow! Two Sisters become Generals! Maj. Gen. Maria Barrett and younger sister Brig. Gen. Paula Lodi are each accomplished in their own fields. But together they have become the first two sisters, the Army believes, to attain the general’s rank in the servi…https://t.co/uy9q58ZNwT— Consumer Goods Club (@ConsumGoodsClub) September 6, 2019
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."
Maj. Gen. Maria Barrett and younger sister Brig. Gen. Paula Lodi became what the Army believes to be the first pair of sister generals.— Mt.KenyaTimes (@MountKenyatimes) September 7, 2019
The US Army has plenty of famous examples of generals who were brothers. But sisters? Now that's another story. pic.twitter.com/cZbhu4pEKx
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.
A salute to Maj. Gen. Maria Barrett and younger sister Brig. Gen. Paula Lodi who have become the first two sisters to attain the general’s rank in the service's 244-year history. #USArmy #Military https://t.co/xvYrORlLkU— Robert Morton (@Robert4787) September 7, 2019
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.”
Sisters make History in #USArmy & attain General's Rank! 👏🏻 Maj. Gen. Maria Barrett and younger sister Brig. Gen. Paula Lodi have become the first two sisters, the #Army believes, to attain the general’s rank in the service's 244-year history. pic.twitter.com/Uw5gRJkY0Z— Ranger Road (@RangerRoad) September 6, 2019
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."
Maj. Gen. Maria Barrett and younger sister Brig. Gen. Paula Lodi are the first sisters ever to become U.S. Army Generals. Lodi also has two daughters that are in the Army, an Army spokesperson told CNN. pic.twitter.com/M9QxRCaW4T— David Maina Ndung'u🇰🇪 (@ItsDavidMaina) September 7, 2019