General Ann Dunwoody (retired) is the first woman in US military history to achieve a four star officer rank.

Her father, Brigadier General Dunwoody, was a highly decorated veteran of World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War, and the family lived in Germany and Belgium while she was growing up.

With very little interest in serving in the military, Ann decided to become a physical education teacher/coach. However, during her junior year of college, she attended a four-week Army introductory program and realised her passion for soldiering.

In 2005 Ann became the Army’s top-ranking female when she received the promotion to lieutenant general (three stars) and became the Army’s Deputy Chief of Staff, G-4 (logistics). During her career, she managed the largest global logistics command in Army history (69,000 military and civilians, located in all 50 states and more than 140 countries).

Army Chief of Staff claimed Dunwoody was “quite simply the best logistician the Army has ever had”.

Receiving her fourth star in 2008, Dunwoody officially retired from the US Army after 37 years in 2012. Since retiring she has authored the book A Higher Standard: Leadership Strategies from the First Female Four Star General, serves on several boards and is engaged in numerous charitable and civic activities.

“It was like coming into the Dark Ages; some senior officers perceived that their bosses would think less favourably of them if they allowed me to be assigned to the division in a critical position.”