Today I read some great news in the Air Force Times! A role model of mine, someone whom I admire from afar, is making headlines!
I learned today that President Obama has nominated Lieutenant General Janet C. Wolfenbarger for an appointment to the rank of full General. If approved by the Senate, she will become the Commander of Air Force Materiel Command, the service’s major command responsible for research, development, testing and evaluation, acquisition support and logistics support for Air Force weapons systems. This is the part of the U.S. Air Force responsible for developing the requirements, blueprints and contracts for all of its systems, from the aircraft to the drones to the satellites to the rockets that put those satellites in the sky!
This is exciting news on so many levels! First of all, her appointment would make her the U.S. Air Force’s first — that’s right, first — female four-star General officer. Secondly, Lt Gen Wolfenbarger isn’t a pilot…which is often the case with newsworthy women in the Air Force. She has an engineering background! She received her Bachelor’s degree from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1980, in the academy’s very first graduating class that included women. She received her Master’s degree from MIT. She proved her worth as a leader in acquisitions and weapons system development during her involvement in the F-22, B-2 and C-17 weapons systems.
I hope this provides some inspiration for women who are interested in STEM career fields. I definitely feel inspired!
Patricia Vollmer is a geeky meteorologist mother of two emerging geek sons, ages 9 & 11. She is currently teaching mathematics at the United States Air Force Academy. Patricia blogs about her family's military life at Ground Control to Major Mom. Home is always where the Air Force sends her family, which for now is in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Hobbies include running, playing her violin, needlecrafts and exploring the world with her boys.