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First woman in U.S. history to receive four-star rank

The nation saluted Friday Lt. Gen. Ann E. Dunwoody, who has served in several command positions in her 33-year Army career, as the first woman to receive four stars, reported CNN.

This is the first time in U.S. history, reported the New York Times, that a woman is promoted to four-star general.

The New York Times reported that President George Bush had nominated Dunwoody on Monday to head the Army Material Command. This command is responsible for equipping, outfitting and arming the soldiers of the Army.

‚ÄúThere is no one more surprised than I,‚Ä? Dunwoody said at her promotion on Friday, reported CNN.

She had planned on a two-year enlistment after leaving college, CNN reported. Now, she will have 133,000 personnel under her command.

Women have not reached four-star rank because they are excluded by law from serving in combat roles, which usually have been the only way to receive such promotions, reported the New York Times. That exclusion continues to apply, but with Dunwoody the Army has chosen to cast aside its traditional limitations on promotion.

According to the New York Times, Dunwoody was only one of two women to have three stars in the U.S. Army.

President Bush nominated Dunwoody for her fourth star in June, reported CNN. The nomination then went to the Senate, who confirmed her promotion.