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US Army names two sisters as generals for the first time in the service’s 244-year history

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Two sisters have achieved the rank of general for the first time in the 244-year history of the US Army, it was revealed Thursday.

Major General Maria Barrett, 53, and Brigadier General Paula Lodi, 51, both reached the historic milestone in their own separate fields.

‘Maj. Gen. Maria Barrett and Brig. Gen. Paula Lodi represent the best America has to offer,’ Acting Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy told USA Today.

‘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.’

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Major General Maria Barrett (left), 53, and Brigadier General Paula Lodi (right), 51, both reached the historic milestone in their own separate fields

Major General Maria Barrett (left), 53, and Brigadier General Paula Lodi (right), 51, both reached the historic milestone in their own separate fields

Lodi
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Barrett

The Two sisters are the first to achieved the rank of general in the 244-year history of the US Army

The two sisters say they never had the intention of achieving the role of general officers, but both expressed pride in being awarded the accolade.

‘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.’

The Army only began allowing women to serve among its ranks in 1901, when the Army Nursing Corps was first founded.

Before that, it’s said that women have been serving since at least 1775 in an unofficial capacity or in disguise since the Revolutionary war.

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The Pentagon and Congress also placed limitation on the role of women in combat, before opening all fields to them in 2015. Ever since, more than a dozen have graduated from the Army’s Ranger School.

Now, more than 16% of the military’s 1.3 million active-duty members are made up by women, with 69 of them accounting for its 417 generals and admirals.

The two sisters say they never had the intention of achieving the role of general officers, but both expressed pride in being awarded the accolade (Pictured: Barrett as a cadet in the 1980s)

‘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.’ (both sisters pictured with their mother in the 1990s)

‘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.’ (both sisters pictured with their mother in the 1990s)

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The Army only began allowing women to serve among its ranks in 1901, when the Army Nursing Corps was first founded. Now, more than 16% of the military’s 1.3 million active-duty members are made up by women, with 69 of them accounting for its 417 generals and admirals (Lodi pictured left)

The Army only began allowing women to serve among its ranks in 1901, when the Army Nursing Corps was first founded. Now, more than 16% of the military’s 1.3 million active-duty members are made up by women, with 69 of them accounting for its 417 generals and admirals (Lodi pictured left)

The sisters’ achievement has been lauded as a profound milestone for women in the military.

‘For both men and women increasingly normalizing women in leadership positions matters,’ Melissa Dalton, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and a former Defense Department official, said. ‘The fact that it comes from same family is an incredible accomplishment.’

Barrett revealed she first decided to join the Army so she could pay her way through school, attending the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) at Tufts University.

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