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First female Air Force major general dies

Feb. 18, 2010 at 6:03 PM

WASHINGTON, Feb. 18 (UPI) -- Retired Maj. Gen. Jeanne M. Holm, the first woman appointed to that rank in the U.S. Air Force, has died, the Pentagon said Thursday. She was 88

Holm, who died Monday, a native of Portland, Ore., is credited with being the force behind achieving parity for military women, the Defense Department said in a release.

She attained the rank of two-star general in 1973 after beginning her military career 31 years earlier when she enlisted in the Army, the Defense Department said. Holm entered Women's Army Air Corps in January 1943, where she received a commission as third officer, the WAAC equivalent of second lieutenant.

Holm also in 1952 became the first woman to attend the Air Command and Staff School at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.

She became the first female airman to be appointed brigadier general July 16, 1971. She was promoted to major general in 1973, the first woman in the armed forces to serve in that grade, the Pentagon said.

Holm retired from the military in 1975.

Among her assignments were positions in three presidential administrations -- special assistant on women for President Gerald Ford, policy consultant for President Jimmy Carter, and first chairwoman of the Veterans Administration's Committee on Women Veterans for President Ronald Reagan.

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