Gen. Janet Wolfenbarger has become the first ever female four-star general in the U.S. Air Force. This week Gen. Wolfenbarger was pinned her fourth star at a ceremony at the National Museum of the United States Air Force.
The Dayton Daily News (courtesy of Stars and Stripes) reported the 54-year-old Wolfenbarger is the first woman in the U.S. Air Force to receive this rank.
After being pinned her fourth star in a promotion ceremony, Gen. Wolfenbarger took a new command in a change of command ceremony. She will be heading up the Air Force Materiel Command (AFMC), the largest unit at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, taking over the position from Gen. Donald Hoffman who is retiring after 42 years of service.
According to Air Force Materiel Command Public Affairs, the ceremony took place on Tues., June 5, and was presided over by Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz.
"We honor Janet Wolfenbarger, an extraordinary public servant and a model Air Force officer," Schwartz said. "Based on her record, Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley and I are entirely confident that she is up to the task of commanding this great organization."
During the ceremony Wolfenbarger thanked Schwartz and Donley for their confidence in her leadership, noted the Air Force's commitment to diversity and expressed her feelings on being a part of the AFMC team.
"This opportunity only really exists because the Air Force has embraced a culture of diversity," she said, reported AFMC's Public Affairs. "This culture has been cultivated over many years, driven by leadership at every level who acknowledge and appreciate the value of contributions from every Airman, added Wolfenbarger. "I promise I will serve in my role as AFMC commander with my absolute best effort. What's more, I have total confidence in the men and women of this command. We will always rise to the occasion and accomplish our difficult mission with determination and enthusiasm."
Air Force Materiel Command Public Affairs
Gen. Janet Wolfenbarger is the first female to be pinned as a four-star General in the U.S. Air Force
“I am humbled, I am honored, I am ready, and I am really, really excited,” Wolfenbarger told an audience of about 1,000 people who witnessed the historic promotion and change of command ceremony at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, reported the Dayton Daily News.
Additionally, the Dayton Daily News reported this isn't the first time Wolfenbarger has made history. Her first time was 32 years ago when she was a member of the first graduating class of 97 female cadets in 1980 at the U.S. Air Force Academy.
Wolfenbarger's new position puts her in charge of technology, acquisition, test and sustainment of the service's current and future weapon systems. The position oversees approximately 81,000 people and manages a yearly budget of about $60 billion.
Also this week, Col. Jeannie Leavitt made a first in U.S. Air Force history when she became the first woman to take command of the 4th Fighter Wing at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in North Carolina. Leavitt was also the first female to enter combat training as a fighter pilot.