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The US Army Has Never Seen Anything Like These 2 Before

Maria Barrett and Paula Lodi are first sisters in military branch to achieve the rank of general
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 6, 2019 2:35 PM CDT
Maria Barrett, left, and Paula Lodi.   (US Army)

(Newser) – Siblings are always trying to pull rank on each other, but these sisters have taken it to a whole new level. Meet Maria Barrett and Paula Lodi, who've both attained the title of general in the US Army—an achievement the Army believes is the first of its kind in the military branch's nearly 250-year history. Lodi, 51, was promoted on July 12 to the one-star rank of brigadier general; her 53-year-old sister was already a two-star major general, ABC News reports. "Maj. Gen. Maria Barrett and Brig. Gen. Paula Lodi represent the best America has to offer," said Acting Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy, per USA Today. "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."

The paper notes that even though there've been father-and-son and husband-and-wife general teams, sisters is a first. Women overall make up just 69 of the Army's 417 current roster of generals and admirals. The women's father, Ruston, himself served during World War II and received a Silver Star. Both their parents were schoolteachers who inspired the women to enter public service. Barrett, who initially joined the military to pay for school but then decided to stick around for the long haul, now heads up the Army Network Enterprise Technology Command, or NETCOM, which oversees the Army's information networks. Lodi was inspired to join the military when she was 8 after seeing a documentary on the first women to attend West Point. She's now the deputy chief of staff for operations in the office of the Army's surgeon general. The sisters' accomplishment is the "closing chapter on a job well done by my parents," their brother, Rus Lodi, tells USA Today. (Read more US Army stories.)

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