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First woman to lead Army Reserve assumes command

The first woman to lead an Army component has assumed command of the Army Reserve and received her third star.

Newly minted Lt. Gen. Jody J. Daniels has been in the Army for more than three decades, previously serving as a division commander and the chief of staff for Army Forces Command. She also held leadership roles under U.S. Africa Command and the U.S. mission in Iraq.

Army Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville spoke Tuesday during her assumption of command ceremony at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

“It’s a special day because not only will Jody become the first woman to serve as the chief of the Army Reserve, but she’ll also be the first woman to lead an Army component,” McConville said during the live-streamed ceremony.

Daniels assumes command as the Army at large continues to deal with the coronavirus pandemic. Restarting collective training, modernizing the reserve as the Army crafts its new multidomain operations doctrine and retaining talent were lines of effort she intends to pursue during her tenure.

“I want foster a mindset of teamwork, continuous learning and growth, with a particular focus on junior talent so they have a desire to continue to serve and to lead,” Daniels said. “This culture of teamwork will be essential to shaping our future.”

Daniels, who last commanded the 88th Readiness Division, out of Fort McCoy, Wisconsin, also holds a doctorate in computer science. In her civilian career, she was the director of advanced programs for Lockheed Martin’s Advanced Technology Laboratories.

“It’s the Army Reserve that allows us to compete with the private sector for talent in specialized fields like medicine, law, engineering and cyber,” McConville added. “And today we need that talent more than ever as we modernize in the information age.”

With nearly 200,000 soldiers, the Army Reserve makes up roughly 20 percent of the service’s total force. But the component provides about half of the service’s maneuver support to sustain formations, according to McConville.

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