First Sisters to become U.S. Army Generals

September 8, 2019

September 8, 2019: One sister had wanted to be a soldier since she was young; the other planned to have a career in the Foreign Service. Both marked a milestone for the U.S. Army this summer: Maj. Gen. Maria Barrett and Brig. Gen. Paula Lodi are believed to be the first pair of sisters to become generals, the military branch’s highest category of rank.

Their rise to the general’s rank signals to younger soldiers that women can fill prestigious leadership roles in many sectors of the traditionally male-dominated Army. Lodi, 51, was promoted to general on July 12 and works as the director of health care operations for the Army’s surgeon general. Barrett, 53, is the commanding general of NETCOM, which runs the Army’s cyber networks. Barrett and Lodi joined the Army shortly before 1994, when the Pentagon opened to women all roles except direct combat jobs. That opportunity, Moore said, paved the way for women to prove themselves and advance within the Army. The Pentagon opened all combat roles to women in 2015.

Read more: First sisters to become Army generals say it was ‘not a game of chance. It is hard work.’ (

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