Carol A. Mutter dedicated almost 32 years of her life to a career in the Marine Corps. Growing up on a sharecropping farm in Greeley, Colorado, Mutter eventually became the first female in the military to be nominated by the President for three-star rank.
Mutter was inspired by her high school math teacher, and so she pursued a B.A. in Mathematics Education from the University of Northern Colorado in 1967. After graduating, she was commissioned as a Marine officer. She continued her education, eventually attaining an M.A. in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island, along with an M.S. and honorary doctorate from Salve Regina University in Newport, Rhode Island.
Throughout her career, Mutter traveled substantially and was stationed throughout the world, including:
- Woman Officer Basic Course training in Virginia and California, in 1967
- Camp Pendleton, California, where she served as a commander, Captain of Marines and Lieutenant Colonel
- Financial Management Officer at Quantico, Virginia
- Assistant Chief of Staff, Comptroller in Okinawa, Japan
- Deputy Controller at Headquarters of the Fleet Marine Force Atlantic in Norfolk, Virginia
Within the next few years, Mutter became a pioneer for women in the military with a list of firsts:
- In 1988, she was the first female to qualify as Command Center Crew Commander and the Space Director of the U.S. Space Command
- To serve as a Brigadier General at the Marine Headquarters in Washington, D.C.
- First woman to be promoted to Major General, making her senior woman in all branches of military at that time.
- First female lieutenant general in the U.S. Armed Forces
- First woman to be nominated by the president for three-star grade.
After almost 32 years of service, Mutter retired in 1999 to pursue leadership in memorial foundations and Veteran resource associations. She has been inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame. For her service, she received the Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal, Navy Achievement Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Meritorious Unit Commendation with bronze star, National Defense Service Medal with bronze star and the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon with four bronze stars.
We honor her service.
Nominate a Veteran for #VeteranOfTheDay
Do you want to light up the face of a special Veteran? Have you been wondering how to tell your Veteran they are special to you? You’re in luck! VA’s #VeteranOfTheDay social media feature is an opportunity to highlight your Veteran and his/her service.
It’s easy to nominate a Veteran. All it takes is an email to email@example.com with as much information as you can put together, along with some good photos. Visit our blog post about nominating to learn how to create the best submission.
Writer: Sarah McDonald
Editors: Marisa Bunton, Mary Margaret Brennan
Researcher: John Bergstrom
Graphic Designer: Saul LeonRecommend0 recommendationsPublished in