Salutes & Awards

March 29, 2012

First Air Force female four-star general confirmed

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — The Senate confirmed Air Force Lt. Gen. Janet Wolfenbarger for promotion March 26, making her the first female four-star general in Air Force history.

Wolfenbarger currently serves as the military deputy in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition here and she is one of 4 lieutenant generals in the Air force.

“This is an historic occasion for the Air Force,” said Secretary of the Air Force Michael B. Donley. “General Wolfenbarger’s 32 years of service, highlighted by extraordinary leadership and devotion to duty, make her exceptionally qualified for this senior position and to serve as the next commander of Air Force Materiel Command.”

“I am honored to have been confirmed by the Senate for promotion to the rank of General and to serve as commander of Air Force Materiel Command. Until I take command of AFMC, I will continue to focus on the important Air Force acquisition work here at the Pentagon,” said Wolfenbarger.

Wolfenbarger, a native of Beavercreek, Ohio, was commissioned as a second lieutenant in 1980 after graduating in the first class with female cadets at the Air Force Academy.

She also holds a graduate degree in aeronautics and astronautics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge.

The general has held several positions in the F-22 System Program Office at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio; served as the F-22 lead program element monitor at the Pentagon, and was the B-2 System program director for the Aeronautical Systems Center, Wright-Patterson AFB.

She commanded ASC’s C-17 Systems Group, Mobility Systems Wing and was the service’s director of the Air Force Acquisition Center of Excellence at the Pentagon, then served as director of the Headquarters AFMC Intelligence and Requirements Directorate, Wright-Patterson AFB. Prior to her current assignment, Wolfenbarger was the vice commander of Air Force Materiel Command, Wright-Patterson AFB.

She has been awarded the Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Air Force Commendation Medal, the Air Force Achievement Medal, the National Defense Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Medal.

Wolfenbarger received her third star in December 2009 and became the Air Force’s highest-ranking woman in January 2010.

Women currently make up 9.1 percent of the Air Force’s general officer ranks. In addition to the 4 female lieutenant generals, there are 12 major generals and 11 brigadier generals.

“This is an exciting time that pays homage to the generations of female Airmen, whose dedication, commitment and sacrifice helped open the doors for General Wolfenbarger and other female Airmen who will follow,” said Air Force Chief of Staff General Norton Schwartz.

Gen. Wolfenbarger’s change of command at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio is scheduled for June 5.

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