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Wolfenbarger Pins On Fourth Star, Makes History

Gen. Janet Wolfenbarger became the first female four-star general in the Air Force and assumed the top position of Air Force Materiel Command on June 5, 2012.
Gen. Janet Wolfenbarger became the first female four-star general in the Air Force and assumed the top position of Air Force Materiel Command on June 5, 2012.

Gen. Janet Wolfenbarger became the first female four-star general in the Air Force and assumed the top position of Air Force Materiel Command during ceremonies at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio on June 5, 2012.

Wolfenbarger took the reins of the major command responsible for the technology, acquisition, test and sustainment of the service's current and future weapon systems from Gen. Donald Hoffman during a change of command ceremony held at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. Prior to the change of command, Wolfenbarger received her fourth star during a promotion ceremony.

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz presided over the ceremony, during which he lauded AFMC's excellence in keeping Air Force weapon systems ready, available and effective, and expressed his confidence that the command is in capable hands with Wolfenbarger.

"We honor Janet Wolfenbarger, an extraordinary public servant and a model Air Force officer," Schwartz said. "Based on her record, Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley and I are entirely confident that she is up to the task of commanding this great organization."

Wolfenbarger thanked Schwartz and Donley for their faith in her ability to lead AFMC and said she was looking forward to once again being part of the AFMC team.

"This opportunity only really exists because the Air Force has embraced a culture of diversity," she said. "This culture has been cultivated over many years, driven by leadership at every level who acknowledge and appreciate the value of contributions from every Airman.

"I promise I will serve in my role as AFMC commander with my absolute best effort," Wolfenbarger continued. "What's more, I have total confidence in the men and women of this command. We will always rise to the occasion and accomplish our difficult mission with determination and enthusiasm."

Schwartz also highlighted Hoffman's dedication to both AFMC's mission and its workforce.

"Don, thank you for presiding over an impressive effort here at AFMC," Schwartz said. "During your tenure, AFMC continued its longstanding excellence in research and development, test and evaluation, acquisition management and logistics support.

"During some of the most challenging and turbulent times for our Air Force, General Hoffman has inspired mission success," he continued. "Don and Jacki, thank you for your combined service to our Air Force, and for your very important contributions to our nation's security."

Hoffman said he would most miss the quality of the people one finds in the Air Force, and the unquestioned level of trust that Airmen exude.

"When you meet someone in the Air Force, you know they've taken an oath to defend the Constitution and a pledge to live by core values of integrity, service and excellence," he said. "Thanks to all of our Airmen, it has been my good fortune to be part of the best Air Force in the world. It was the best when I joined it. It's smaller now, its missions have changed, but it's still the best. And I have total confidence that those who follow me will keep it the best Air Force in the world."

Hoffman, who had served as the commander of AFMC since November 2008, is retiring after 42 years of service.

After serving as the military deputy of the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition at the Pentagon for the past eight months, Wolfenbarger becomes the eighth AFMC commander since AFMC stood up on July 1, 1992. She will now lead a workforce of approximately 81,000 people and manage an annual budget of about $60 billion.

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