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Retired Female Four-Star Appointed to Defense Advisory Committee

DoD News, Defense Media Activity


WASHINGTON, March 08, 2016 — For the first time, a female four-star general was appointed to serve on the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services, according to a DoD news release issued today.

Retired Air Force Gen. Janet C. Wolfenbarger was among three new Secretary of Defense military appointees who joined DACOWITS today during a swearing-in ceremony held at a DACOWITS quarterly business meeting. Also sworn in were retired Air Force Maj. Gen. Sharon K. G. Dunbar and retired Marine Corps Col. John T. Boggs.

DACOWITS was established in 1951 and is composed of civilian women and men who are appointed by the defense secretary, the release said. The committee provides advice and recommendations on matters and policies relating to the recruitment, retention, treatment, employment, integration, and well-being of highly qualified professional women in the armed forces.

DACOWITS recommendations have been instrumental in effecting change to laws and policies pertaining to military women.

Wolfenbarger served 35 years in the Air Force. She received her commission in 1980 and was among the first class of women graduates from the U.S. Air Force Academy. She began her career in acquisition as an engineer at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, and held a variety of leadership assignments throughout her career, culminating as the commander, Air Force Materiel Command. She was the Air Force’s first female four-star general.

"It is truly an honor to be selected to serve on this important committee. I retired last July after serving for 35 years in the United States Air Force. I am thrilled to be afforded the opportunity to continue to serve my nation in this new capacity," Wolfenbarger said.

Other Appointees

Dunbar was commissioned in 1982 upon graduation from the U.S. Air Force Academy. She has served in a variety of acquisition, political-military and personnel positions. Prior to her retirement in 2014, Dunbar was dual-hatted as commander of the Air Force District of Washington and the 320th Air Expeditionary Wing, headquartered at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland. She is currently the vice president of human resources for a global aerospace and defense company.

As a Marine Corps infantry officer, Boggs has been privileged to command at every level of his military career. He has served in advisory positions on high-level national government staffs and advised general officers and political appointees. Prior to his retirement in 2008, he served as chief of staff of the National Defense University and managed the planning and implementation of daily operations at the world’s largest defense university system and leading institution for producing strategic leaders. He is the founder of a leadership and strategy development business.

"It is an honor to be selected to serve on the committee," Boggs said.

Highly qualified candidates are selected to serve as DACOWITS committee members on the basis of their experience with the military and with women's workforce issues. The committee provides an annual report to the Secretary of Defense with recommendations based on information gathered through installation visits, business meetings, relevant reports and survey data, and input from individual service members.