2 Sisters Named As the First Pair to Become Generals in the US Army’s 244-Year History

By Li Yen, Epoch Times
September 7, 2019 Updated: September 13, 2019

Major General Maria Barrett, 53, and Brigadier General Paula Lodi, 51, achieved the historic milestone by becoming the first two sisters in 244 years to attain the general’s rank in the U.S. Army.

Already a two-star general, Barrett was joined by her younger sister Lodi when she was promoted to the one-star rank of brigadier general on July 12.

In a celebratory moment, Barrett presented Lodi with her one-star rank insignia.

Barrett serves as the commanding general of NETCOM, whilst Lodi is the deputy chief of staff for operations at the Office of the Surgeon General.

Achieving the role of general officers were neither sisters’ intentions as per The Daily Mail. Lodi always wanted to be a soldier ever since she was a child after watching a documentary about the first women at West Point. Barrett, on the contrary, said it was “almost accidental” for her to land a cyber career with NETCOM. She had wanted to enroll in an art school or a career in the foreign service, Army reported.

“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 told USA Today. “I don’t think either one of us would have told you that this is how the story would end.”

Photo courtesy of U.S. Army Network Enterprise Technology Command

Barrett said it was their father, a World War II veteran and recipient of the Silver Star, and mother Clara, who educated them about the importance of public service.

“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.”

Growing up outside Boston, their brother Rus Lodi revealed they share a bedroom and the same interests. He hailed them as “leadership junkies,” with Barrett excelling in studies and Lodi in sports.

Rus Lodi recalled: “They were two just beautiful girls growing up. Maria would do something academically that just blew us away, while Paula was doing something athletically, flipping off a diving board, before anybody else.”

Having bestowed the accolade on the pair of sisters, Rus Lodi felt pride.

“They have just been a great source of pride and admiration our entire life,” he said.

Photo courtesy of U.S. Army Network Enterprise Technology Command
Photo courtesy of U.S. Army Network Enterprise Technology Command

U.S. Army Chief of Staff Gen. James C. McConville lauded the sisters as “exceptional, proven leaders who’ve distinguished themselves over the course of their careers at various levels of command and during multiple combat tours.”

“These officers serve in critical career fields and lead organizations essential to the Army mission,” Gen. McConville said.

These women have become the first two sisters, the Army believes, to attain the general’s rank in the service's 244-year history.

تم النشر بواسطة ‏‎USA TODAY‎‏ في الخميس، ٥ سبتمبر ٢٠١٩

“The fact that we’re sisters, not brothers, I think it’s a huge illustration of how far we’ve come as a service,” Lodi said.

As per the U.S. Army Women’s Museum, even though some women served unofficially since the Revolutionary War, women were only officially allowed into the U.S. Army ranks in 1901 with the founding of the Army Nursing Corps. After 118 years, currently, amongst the 1.3 million active-duty members in the military, 16 percent are female. Out of its 417 generals and admirals, 69 are women.

And from the beginning in January 2016, Defense Secretary Ash Carter made the announcement that all military occupations and positions are open to women, without exception, so long they have qualified and met specific standards.

The sisters’ achievements are remarkable.

Watch the video:

Two sisters attain rank of general for the first time in the history of the U.S. Army

It's an Army first — Maj. Gen. Maria Barrett and Brig. Gen. Paula Lodi have become the first sisters to attain the rank of general in the service's 244-year history. https://cbsn.ws/2MVS6sn

تم النشر بواسطة ‏‎CBS Evening News with Norah O'Donnell‎‏ في الجمعة، ٦ سبتمبر ٢٠١٩