Liber Project by: sierra carpenter

Just Who Is Ann Dunwoody

Ann Dunwoody was raised in a home comprised of three generations of West Point graduates that lead to ten or more years in the military world. Of course, with this type of pressure on her back she joined the air force to supplement the tradition. However, during her time in the military two years turned into thirty years. Dunwoody was raised through the ranks and went from platoon leader all the way to the first female Four-Star General with the help of male role models and family members. In her autobiography, “A Higher Standard,” Dunwoody goes through all the trials and tribulations she encountered along her path. This text offers up great advice for all high school and college students; however, it encourages women the most. Breaking the “copper ceiling,” as Dunwoody says, is a challenge that every little child should toy with in their mind at an early age. Then when becoming older, they should take those steps to make a difference in the world we live in. Now being retired, Ann Dunwoody still loves to talk about her story and empower young minds. Her text “A Higher Standard,” was deemed the common reading for the class of 2020 at the University of Florida where she also came and spoke during freshman convocation.

History Of Women In Action

Women have always been behind the scenes when it comes to the army realm. Whether it be supplying food, housing soldiers, or caring for the injured women have had some part in battle. The American Revolutionary war was when it arose that women were trying to contribute to the land that they loved by becoming spies or serving in combat with their husbands or disguised as men. It wasn’t until 1943 before the Women’s Army Corps was created. The WAC created jobs for women in the army, allowed equal benefits and pay, and the same disciplinary code as men. The forming of this organization was ground breaking however, women could still not participate in combat. On June 12th 1948, President Harry S. Truman signed the Women's Armed Service Integration Act, which allowed the presence of women into the army. Not until forty years later in 1983 do you see the first light of women marching into combat zones in Operation Urgent Fury, Grenada. After these events, the role of women in the military changed forever and in 2008 General Ann Dunwoody became the first female Four-Star general in military history. This slow change in the military system showed that the integration of women into the army was not going to be an easy one. It took time and patience of all those women throughout history to keep the ultimate end goal in mind. General Ann Dunwoody said one of the greatest quotes in her book, “What I've realized is how important diversity is to solving complex and challenging problems that we have today, if we are sitting with all men that look alike and trained alike they tend to come out with similar solutions. The power of diversifying ... makes any organization better. Even on the battlefield. Particularly on the battlefield.” Diversity is never a bad thing and it can help rise up nations to prepare and conquer any battle set before it.

How This Text Is Related to the Classroom

Through analyzing “A Higher Standard,” I wanted to relate this text to some of the discussions held in class. Females have always had a downward look upon them when it came to obtaining leadership roles or even jobs. I saw this in the text we read called, “Persepolis.” During that time is Israel, there was great turmoil against women’s looks in context to tradition. Protests were being held and innocent women and girls where being forced to talk and dress in a certain manner. How I am relating this to my book for the project is through perseverance. Without having a will to want to break the social chains that bound her, Ann Dunwoody would have never reached the end goal that she has obtained today. Without standing up for what she believed in, Marjane Satrapi, would have never brought her story out to the world about what really was going on in the middle east. I believe in life that it takes putting your goals as primary priority. Having these future achievements should drive and push you towards your end goal. Another point that can be related to Dunwoody’s text is, diversity. Like the quote I used before from Dunwoody, she firmly believes in diversification. That this is the key to solve complex problems, by having people of different cultures, backgrounds, and genders all looking at a situation simultaneously and arising at a solution faster. Applying this to my life, I see diversity aiding in the classroom. Each person had their own opinions that they brought to the table in discussions and this lead to everyone understanding the texts from alternate points of view.


  • "Women in the United States Army." Women in the U.S. Army | The United States Army. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Dec. 2016.
  • Dunwoody, Ann, and Tomago Collins. A Higher Standard: Leadership Strategies from America's First Female Four-Star General. Boston, MA: Da Capo Lifelong, a Member of the Perseus Group, 2015. Print.
  • Satrapi, Marjane. Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood. N.p.: Pantheon, 2000. Print.


Created with images by Unsplash - "books old pile" • The U.S. Army - "dunwoody_6" • jared422_80 - "Gainesville - University of Florida - Ben Hill Griffin Stadium - View From Endzone Seats"

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