Think of a Four Star General. What comes to your mind? A person who can inspire? Check. Somebody brilliant? Check. A problem-solver? Check. Athletic? Check. An efficiency expert? Check. A person who cares about the people working for them? Check.
A humble person–wait, we are talking about the highest rank in the whole Air Force, right? What about the nicest person you would ever want to sit down to picnic with? Are we still discussing the traits of a full General?
We are now! My classmate Lt. General Janet C. (Libby) Wolfenbarger was nominated on 7 February 2012 by the President to the Senate for the position of Commander of the Air Force Material Command (AFMC) and the rank of General (that is four stars). After starting her career in the first class of women at the United States Air Force Academy, she will now become the first woman four star general in the Air Force.
As Commander of AFMC, Janet–er, I mean General Wolfenbarger–will be responsible for the research, development, test and evaluation, acquisition management services (buying and paying for weapons systems), and logistics support for all the weapons systems in the Air Force. You know, things like unmanned drones, star wars missiles, F-22s, and cell phones. That is a lot of responsibility and a lot of people as well as machinery.
You can read about all of Janet’s accomplishments at her official Air Force biography.
But you can only read about what a terrific, bright, fun, caring, kind person she is, and see a photo from her cadet past as a rugby player, here. As anyone who watches rugby knows, a nice person can still be a scrapper who will get the mission accomplished. Congratulations, General Wolfenbarger! We from the Class of 1980 are all very proud of you!