Claudia Kennedy

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Claudia Kennedy
Claudia J Kennedy.jpg
Lieutenant General Claudia J. Kennedy
Birth name Claudia Jean Kennedy
Born (1947-07-14) July 14, 1947 (age 67)
Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Allegiance  United States of America
Service/branch United States Department of the Army Seal.svg United States Army
Years of service 1969–2000
Rank US-O9 insignia.svg Lieutenant General
Battles/wars Cold War
Awards Legion of Merit (4)
Defense Meritorious Service Medal
Meritorious Service Medal (4)
Army Commendation Medal (4)

Claudia Jean Kennedy (born July 14, 1947) is a retired lieutenant general in the United States Army. She is the first female to reach the rank of three-star general in the U.S. Army. She retired in 2000 after 31 years of military service.

Early life[edit]

Claudia Kennedy was born on July 14, 1947 in Frankfurt, Germany. She attended Southwestern at Memphis (now Rhodes College), where she became a member of Kappa Delta Sorority and earned a bachelor's degree in philosophy in 1969. She was commissioned a second lieutenant in the United States Army in June 1969.

Military career[edit]

After receiving her commission in 1969, Kennedy served two tours in Germany and one tour in South Korea and focused much of her military career in the fields of intelligence and cryptology.

On May 21, 1997, Kennedy became the first woman in the U.S. Army to hold a three-star rank. (U.S. Air Force Lt Gen Leslie F. Kenne, U.S. Navy Vice Admiral Patricia Tracey, U.S. Coast Guard VADM Vivien Crea and U.S. Marine Corps Lt Gen Carol Mutter held equal ranks in other branches of the military.) She was named Army Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence.

Kennedy is a member of the Military Intelligence Hall of Fame.

Accusation against another general[edit]

In 1999, General Kennedy made a sexual harassment claim against fellow officer Major General Larry Smith, stemming from an incident in 1996 when she was a major general and he was a brigadier general. Kennedy made the accusation after Smith was slated for promotion to the position of Army deputy Inspector General, the position responsible for investigation of sexual harassment claims. Kennedy claimed that Smith had attempted to grope and kiss her; Smith's appointment to the inspector general's office was later withdrawn. In 2000, an inquiry by the United States Army's inspector general concluded that Lt. Gen. Kennedy was a victim of inappropriate sexual advances from General Smith.[1]

Awards and decorations[edit]

Kennedy's awards include the Legion of Merit (three Oak Leaf Clusters), the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal (three Oak Leaf Clusters), the Army Commendation Medal (three Oak Leaf Clusters), and the Army Staff Identification Badge.

After retirement[edit]

Kennedy speaks during the third night of the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado.

Kennedy retired from the military in June 2000 after 31 years. During the 2000 U.S. presidential election, Kennedy was critical of George W. Bush's proposed military policies, especially as they related to the status of women in the armed forces. According to General Kennedy: "If Mr. Bush becomes president, his campaign platform says he will move us back to a much earlier time." In other matters of military policy, it has been reported that Kennedy opposed the now repealed "Don't ask, don't tell" policy.[2]

In 2002, Democrats actively sought to recruit Gen. Kennedy to challenge U.S. Senator John Warner, a Republican from Virginia. Kennedy passed on the race.

Kennedy endorsed Senator John Kerry for the 2004 Democratic presidential nomination in September 2003, and served as an advisor to the Kerry campaign. She sometimes was mentioned as a possible nominee for Secretary of Defense in a Kerry administration.

She endorsed military veteran candidates Eric Massa and Patrick Murphy in 2006. In 2007 and 2008 she endorsed Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton and Senator Barack Obama in their respective campaigns for the presidency.[3] She was discussed as a potential vice presidential choice for the Democratic presidential nominee, Barack Obama.[2]

In June 2010, she was appointed as chairwoman of the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services, a committee which is appointed by the United States Secretary of Defense and which reports to the United States Department of Defense.[4]

General Kennedy is currently serving as co-chair of the Platform Committee of the 2012 Democratic National Convention.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Marquis, Christopher (May 11, 2000). "Army Confirms Officer's Claim Of Harassment". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-08-27 Lt Gen Kennedy violated one of the principles of sexual harassment policy by not telling General Smith that she found his actions inappropriate.. 
  2. ^ a b "Obama Considers Gay Ally for Running Mate". Advocate.com. June 24, 2008. 
  3. ^ "Ret. Lt. Gen. Claudia Kennedy Endorses Clinton" (Press release). HillaryClinton.com. April 28, 2007. 
  4. ^ "2010 DACOWITS Committee Members Announced" (Press release). U.S. Department of Defense Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs). 2010-06-02. Retrieved 2010-06-02. 
  5. ^ Sonmez, Felicia (July 12, 2012). "Cory Booker, Claudia Kennedy tapped as co-chairs of Democratic National Convention Platform Committee". Election 2012 Blog. The Washington Post. Retrieved August 11, 2012.