After being promoted to the rank of lieutenant general on Tuesday, Jody Daniels is the latest woman to break into senior ranks of the U.S. Military.
Not only that, Daniels now assumes command over the Army Reserve, making her the first woman ever to lead a component of the Army. The Reserves itself boasts a 112-year history.
Daniels, who has served in the Army for over three decades, previously held the position of division commander and chief of staff for Army Forces Command, Army Times reported.
She is a career intelligence officer who has held leadership positions in U.S. Africa Command and during U.S. operations in Iraq. Daniels also holds a degree in applied mathematics and a doctorate in computer science.
During a live-streamed ceremony at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, Army Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville marked the occasion citing her historic achievement.
“It’s a special day because not only will Jody become the first woman to serve as the chief of the Army Reserve, but she’ll also be the first woman to lead an Army component,” McConville said.
The newly minted lieutenant general intends to pursue initiatives to restart collective training, modernizing the reserve along the Army’s multidomain operations and retaining talent, Army Times reported.
“I want foster a mindset of teamwork, continuous learning and growth, with a particular focus on junior talent so they have a desire to continue to serve and to lead,” said Daniels. “This culture of teamwork will be essential to shaping our future.”
Meanwhile, her husband, John McCarthy, 57, is a retired Army colonel, and they both served as intelligence officers. “She’s intuitive,” he said. “She’s a negotiator. And she just sops up information like nobody’s business. And she’s a numbers gal.”
Daniels’s late father had also served in the Army as a lieutenant colonel in the Army Corps of Engineers, and was a Vietnam veteran, USA Today reported. He was also her mentor, she says.
“He was taking everything in and assimilating and synthesizing it,” she added. “And then thinking about how he should respond. And I hope that I’ve taken on some of that.”
Women have been increasingly rising in the ranks since 2015 when servicewomen were made eligible to participate in combat roles. Notably last year, Paula Lodi and Maria Barret became the first sisters to reach the rank of general.
Meanwhile, women such as Gen. Maryanne Miller, of the Air Force Reserve, and Vice Adm. Robin Braun, of the Navy Reserve, also held command positions in recent years.
Currently, women make up about 14.4 percent of active-duty personal serving in the military and about 17.9 percent in the Reserve, according to America’s Promise Alliance.