The military’s first female four-star general will serve as the community hero for the 2018 Gasparilla Pirate Fest. 1st female four-star general in Gasparilla paradeGeneral Ann Dunwoody to serve as Community HeroGeneral Dunwoody joined the Army in 1974General Ann Dunwoody led and ran the largest global logistics command in the Army, oversaw multi-billion dollar budgets, and commanded tens of thousands of military personal, and she said it’s all thanks to her dedication and perseverance. Now, General Dunwoody will play the role of pirate as she serves as the 2018 Gasparilla Pirate Fest Community Hero. “Here we are in Tampa, a military community, that is loaded with military heroes, and they’re honoring me and I’m glad to represent the rest,” she said. General Dunwoody’s military career started in 1974. And while she came from a military family, she said she never thought it would be her path. Her passion was sports and coaching, but then, her junior year of college, the Army launched a program to recruit more women. “If you got accepted, and you were qualified, they paid you $500 a month during your senior year in college. You had a two year commitment, and you got commissioned as a second lieutenant, and they were going to teach me to jump out of airplanes,” Dunwoody said. During those two years, General Dunwoody said she realized how much she loved being a soldier and leading other soldiers. And that led to a 38 year career and becoming the Army’s first female four-star general. But, of course, it wasn’t without its challenges. “When I joined back then, in 1975 when I graduated, I assumed that I was going to have to exceed the standards just to be accepted into this male rank in this institution, but what I discovered, was that all the good leaders that I admired, respected, and worked for, held themselves to a higher standard and encouraged their subordinates to do the same,” Dunwoody said. That’s how General Dunwoody says she has lived her life. Now, a successful author, she said she’s tried to impress that same ideology on others–that if you don’t settle and always hold yourself to a higher standard, there’s not anything or anyone who can ever hold you back. “It’s not how many times you jumped out of airplanes, it’s not how many miles you ran, it’s developing leaders of the future and that’s what I hope I’ll be remembered for,” she said. General Dunwoody now lives in Tampa with her husband and she said for the last five years they’ve gone to the Gasparilla parade, and this year, they’re very excited to actually be in it.