Story at a glance

  • Jody Daniels, a former intelligence officer, was promoted to lieutenant general of the U.S. Army Reserve.
  • Daniels previously served in Iraq.

Newly promoted Maj. Gen. Jody Daniels has been cleared to take command of the U.S. Army Reserve, making her the first woman ever to do so, according to USA Today.

Prior to her promotion, Daniels, who has a doctoral degree in computer science, was an intelligence officer who served in Iraq. 

Daniels reportedly comes from a military family; her father is retired lieutenant colonel who served in Vietnam.

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As a college student, Daniels, now 58, won an Army Reserve Officer Training Corps scholarship and eventually graduated from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. Afterwards, she served as an active duty soldier and on Reserve assignments and received advanced degrees from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

“She's a terrific officer," retired two-star Army intelligence officer Mark Quantock told USA Today. “Jody is smart, experienced, approachable and is a gifted leader. Really happy to see her break another glass ceiling as the Chief of the Army Reserve. She'll be fantastic.”

The U.S. Army reserve is the Army’s pool of extra resources and personnel, allowing soldiers to work a civilian job or go to school while serving in the military. It is headquartered at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. 

Like all armed services, the Army is still dominated by men, particularly in leadership positions. USA Today writes that less than 25 percent of admirals and generals are women.

Last month, Gen. Charles Brown, became the first Black chief of staff with his elevation to that position in the Air Force. And last year, Maria Barrett and Paula Lodi became the first sisters in Army history to reach the rank of general. 

Other women who have recently achieved leadership positions across U.S. military branches include Vice Admiral Robin Braun and General Maryanne Miller, of the Navy and Air Force Reserves, respectively. 

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The Pew Research Center said in 2017 that just 16 percent of active duty soldiers are women, though that percent has nearly doubled over the past 37 years. 

"This is a reflection of women continuing to rise through the ranks and attain the highest level of the pyramid," Mark Cancian, a senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told reporters of Daniels's promotion.

A promotion ceremony is slated to be held on July 28 at Fort Bragg. 

Published on Jul 22, 2020