For the first time in the US Army’s history, two sisters have attained the rank of general, proving that no feat is impossible.
Major General Maria Barrett and her younger sister Brigadier General Paula Lodi grew up in a military family, with their father Ruston Lodi, who served in World War II and received the Silver Star, Fox News reports.
Both sisters have enjoyed successful careers, with Barrett serving as the Commanding General of NETCOM and Lodi the General Chief of Staff for Operations at the Office of the Surgeon General, according to reports in USA Today.
While the US Army has seen sons follow in their fathers’ footsteps to achieve great things serving their country, it believes Maria and Paula are the first sisters to rise to the position of general in its 244 year history.
As per Fox News, acting Army Secretary, Ryan McCarthy said: Major General Maria Barrett and Brigadier General Paula Lodi represent the best America has to offer.
However, this comes as no surprise to those who have known them and loved them throughout this extraordinary journey. This is a proud moment for their families and for the army.
Because many women change their last names after marriage, the army would need to look at every single female general and their siblings to determine if they were sisters, however an army spokesperson told CNN it wouldn’t be possible to do that.
The spokesperson told the news outlet:
But since there haven’t been that many women generals, it’s a safe bet that they’re the first.
There has been less time for female siblings to achieve the impressive feat because the military didn’t start accepting women into its ranks until the Army Nursing Corps was established in 1901.
Barrett graduated from Tufts University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in international relations and consequently went on to be commissioned through the Army ROTC program as a Second Lieutenant in 1988.
Lodi is a distinguished honor graduate of the Naval War College and has master’s degrees in public administration, military arts and science, and national security and strategic studies.
Together, they grew up in Franklin, Massachusetts, where they played on the same football team in high school.
According to an army spokesperson, Lodi also has two daughters who are in the army – could they be the second pair of sisters to follow in their mother’s footsteps?
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Emma Rosemurgey is an NCTJ trained Journalist at UNILAD. She graduated from the University of Central Lancashire in Preston and started her career in regional newspapers before joining the LADbible Group team in 2017.