More Stars on Female Shoulders

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Air Force

Lieut. General Janet Wolfenbarger is slated to become the Air Force’s first female four-star general, the Pentagon said Monday. Assuming Senate confirmation, she will become commander of Air Force Materiel Command at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio. AFMC spends $40 billion annually developing weapons and other gear for the service.

While Wolfenbarger is not a pilot, she is an Air Force Academy and MIT grad, with a master’s in aeronautics. She also served as AFMC’s #2 officer until last September, before heading to the Pentagon to serve as the military deputy to the service’s top civilian weapons buyer…but such short stints in major acquisition billets probably have nothing to do with the military’s perpetual procurement woes.

Wolfenbarger will become the military’s second woman wearing four stars, following Army General Ann Dunwoody, commander of Army Materiel Command, who earned the promotion in 2008 to run her service’s development shop.

Notice a trend here? Women are getting assignments to build things, not fight foes. That’s because they’re barred from combat. But good luck to General-To-Be Wolfenbarger. When it comes to building weapons, she can’t do any worse than the guys.