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Avatar of GI KoreaBy on February 7th, 2012 at 4:19 pm

Janet Wolfenbarger To Become Air Force’s First Female Four Star General

The US Air Force is about to have its first female four star General:

 Air Force Lt. Gen. Janet C. Wolfenbarger would become the highest-ranking woman officer ever to serve in the Air Force if a nomination forwarded Monday by President Barack Obama is approved by the Senate.

Wolfenbarger would lead Air Force Materiel Command at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, and become the first female four-star general in the Air Force. The command focuses on development and sustainment of weapons systems. With a yearly budget of $60 billion, it’s the largest Air Force command in terms of funding.

Wolfenbarger now serves as military deputy to the Air Force’s assistant secretary for acquisitions. Before her current assignment at the Pentagon, she was vice commander at Air Force Material Command, according to her official Air Force biography. She previously held other positions in the command, including director of the Intelligence and Requirements Directorate. Before that, she directed programs and offices connected with the C-17 transport plane, the B-2 bomber and the F-22 fighter.

She is a 1980 graduate of the Air Force Academy and later earned a master’s degree at National Defense University.

According to the Pentagon, Army Gen. Ann Dunwoody, commander of Army Materiel Command, became the U.S. Army’s first four-star general in 2008.  [Stars & Stripes]

  • Leon LaPorte
    4:07 pm on February 7th, 2012 1

    Impressive resume. Looks like she’s been groomed from the very beginning to be a poster girl for EO. Oh, and an AF Academy grad.

    Not to diminish her accomplishments or intellect, but… :roll:

    Anyway, of possible interest to ROKheads, I notice not a single deployment since her entry into service in 1980.

  • ChickenHead
    5:18 pm on February 7th, 2012 2

    So what you are saying, Leon is that there was… ehem… no little deploy that called Wolfenbarger?

  • Leon LaPorte
    5:21 pm on February 7th, 2012 3

    2. Ugh… :???:

  • Kevin
    7:23 pm on February 7th, 2012 4

    Leon, I’m an Air Force retiree & a while ago I worked for engineer so explained how their career path worked. Here’s my rough take on her bio:

    I’m assuming when you mean deployment, you mean a PCS to Iraq or Afghanistan. In that case, you are correct about her not deploying. However, she’s an aeronautical engineer so I’d be surprised if she did PCS to either place.

    Wright-Pat is the Engineer Central for the Air Force so again, I’m not surprised by the amount of time she was there. At the same, she would have gone to the factories, test ranges, logistics centers, etc.

    She been a SPO & that’s a big deal in the Air Force. Finally, she worked on the B-2, C-17 & F-22 — the newest bomber, airlift & fighter that we’ve fielded.

    Looking at the other parts in her bio & I’d say she’s had a very good career.

  • Pops
    10:01 pm on February 7th, 2012 5

    At #4, Deployments consist of a wide variety of temporary duty and PCS assignments with/to operational units overseas, up to and including remote one-year tours to various points in SW Asia and Korea, among other places. The USAF, like the other branches of the service, has been involved in numerous deployed contingency and combat operations in the last 30 years. SW Asia-related operations alone started in the 1980s, with AWACS during the tanker war, Desert Shield/Storm in 1990-91, the No-Fly Zones era, Op Iraqi Freedom and continue until today. Korean ops have taken place over a far longer period. I know there was some emphasis years ago on engineers getting a tour of duty outside the acquisition area, to get some operational experience. And it is true that this was not always possible for all engineers, although I think if someone really wanted to gain operational or deployment experience, they could find a way to do so.

  • Leon LaPorte
    10:06 pm on February 7th, 2012 6

    I doesn’t seem unreasonable for a 4 star general with over 30 years service in the MILITARY to have at least one “deployment” under their belt, er, girdle. There have certainly been ample opportunities.

  • Kevin
    1:23 am on February 8th, 2012 7

    Bios for Air Force generals are usually a page but sometimes 1 1/2 pages long & hit the highlights of a career. Lt Gen Wolfenbarger may have a deployed multiple times for all I know but unless it was PCS assignment, it’s not going to be listed in her bio. To see where she’s deployed, you’d have to look at her personnel record.

  • ChickenHead
    2:18 am on February 8th, 2012 8

    You can all say she got her promotion for political correctness, the furtherance of a feminist agenda, election year politics, or other bitter thinking…

    …but the truth is obvious.

    She is SMOKIN’ hot!

    She MUST have been in combat…

    …as it looks like old Wolfen Barker took some heavy fire from the Fugly Gun…

    …and got a Purple Heart with Ugly Tree clusters.

  • Avatar of GI KoreaGI Korea
    4:01 am on February 8th, 2012 9

    @7 – Looking at her awards I see nothing to indicate she deployed. She doesn’t have a Iraq or Afghanistan Campaign medal, nothing from Desert Storm, or even a GWOT Expeditionary Medal. She does have the GWOT Service Medal which is just like the NDSM which is what everyone gets in the military. Though she is in acquisitions world you would think that at least once in 30 years she would have been put on a tasking to deploy.

  • Glans
    4:05 am on February 8th, 2012 10

    ChickenHead, if I were the commander in chief, no officer would ever grin when being photographed.

  • Glans
    10:18 pm on February 8th, 2012 11

    Females will be medics, intelligence, police or communications officers for battalions, not just brigades, says Lolita C. Baldor of AP, here on combat deployments will help their careers.

  • Kevin
    2:42 am on February 9th, 2012 12

    Leon is right — she is a Golden Child and has been groomed accordingly. Her assignments, education & promotions are pretty clear about that. It looks like she stayed in program management, worked on very high-visibility projects and did so for some very senior people. My gut tells me that her mentor(s) — or patrons, as we used to call them a long time ago — deemed these assignments & duties a lot more important that deploying or getting operational experience.

    Here’s a little background info:

    This is the summary paragraph from the Air Force Officer Classification Directory for what an Acquisition Officer does: “Manages defense acquisition programs covering every aspect of the acquisition process, including integrating engineering, program control, test and deployment, configuration management, production and manufacturing, quality assurance, and logistics support. Performs functions essential to acquisition programs involving major defense acquisition programs and other than major systems or subsystems. Performs acquisition support roles.”
    Also, the SAF website on Acquisition ( lays out what they do.

  • Leon LaPorte
    5:30 pm on February 9th, 2012 13

    Hopefully she doesn’t implode like Capt. Holly Graf.

    Call me old fashioned but men should be led by men. There’s likely (other than biblical) a reason why men fight wars and women do the truly important work back home.

  • Kevin
    11:19 pm on February 10th, 2012 14

    I don’t think she’s going to implode. The dividing line for generals is between the second & third star. She did nearly 3 1/2 as a brigadier, followed by a 6-month drive-by tour as a 2-star and has been a 3-star for a little over two years. With six years under her belt, the stupid stuff would have come out by now.

  • Leon LaPorte
    12:39 am on February 11th, 2012 15

    14. I know. Rather disappointing, isn’t it? Oh well, we can always hope!

  • Avatar of GI KoreaGI Korea
    1:43 pm on February 12th, 2012 16

    @11 – If you haven’t read this post yet I recommend you do so because the media meme about helping promotions is largely BS:


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