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Gen. Ann Dunwoody: Don't Re-Evaluate Military Standards for Women

By    |   Monday, 11 May 2015 09:44 PM

The U.S. military's first female four-star general doesn't believe standards should be lowered for women, but, in an appearance Monday on Newsmax TV, she suggested some standards may need a second look.

Retired Gen. Ann Dunwoody was asked about the recent end to a two-year experiment by the Marines in which all 29 women who tried out for the Infantry Officer Course failed to finish.

"I do not agree with the re-evaluation for women," Dunwoody told "Hard Line" host Ed Berliner. "I can't speak for the Marine Corps. I'm almost four decades in the Army, but what I can speak to is the standard."

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The original plan was to open all of the career fields to women and have the service chiefs and the combatant commanders identify those that they did not think women could qualify for, she said.

What that required was an evaluation of the standards, she said, some being traditional and some actually measuring ability to succeed, pass or serve in each career field.

"Quite frankly, if it's about lowering the standards, this policy will have failed," Dunwoody said. "This is about identifying the standards and then allowing anyone, male or female, who can meet or exceed those standards give them the opportunity to serve."

Dunwoody has written a book, "A Higher Standard: Leadership Strategies from America's First Female Four-Star General," which she said shares leadership tips for anyone, regardless of gender or profession.

"If you get dissuaded from something you really believe in, something you think you can do, something you're very passionate about, they win," she said. "If people derail you from something you want to do, they win. My message is, if you really believe it, if you really want to do something, then you drive on because you can do it."

Leadership started for her in her family, Dunwoody said. Her father was a war hero who served in World War II, Korea and Vietnam, and her devoutly Catholic mother raised six children while her husband was away in the military.

"Coming from a values-based family with kids, what I realized is when I joined the military.... I was really joined in a values-based organization," she said. "One where you take an oath, one where you are subject to code and military justice, which governs your behavior both in uniform and out of uniform and one of which is full of standards."

As a woman, Dunwoody expected to have to exceed those standards to prove her credibility. "But the reality is that all the good leaders that I served with exceeded those standards," she said.

Good leaders in any profession can and will rise to the top, Dunwoody said.

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The U.S. military's first female four-star general doesn't believe standards should be lowered for women, but, in an appearance Monday on Newsmax TV, she suggested some standards may need a second look.
ann dunwoody, female, soldiers, military, standards
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2015-44-11
Monday, 11 May 2015 09:44 PM
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