Claudia Jean Kennedy was born on July 14, 1947, in Frankfurt, during the American occupation of southern Germany after World War II. She attended Southwestern at Memphis (now Rhodes College), where she became a member of Kappa Delta Sorority and earned a Bachelor’s in Philosophy in 1969. Her military education includes completion of the Women’s Army Corps Officer Basic Course, Military Intelligence Officer Advanced Course, the Junior Officer Cryptologic Career Program at National Security Agency, the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College and the Army War College. She was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army in June 1969.
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.
General Kennedy has held a variety of command and staff positions throughout her career. Key assignments include: Commander, 3d Operations Battalion, U.S. Army Field Station Augsburg, Germany; Commander, San Antonio Recruiting Battalion, U.S. Army Recruiting Command; and Commander, 703d Military Intelligence Brigade, Field Station Kunia, Hawaii. She has served as Operations Officer, U.S. Army Field Station Augsburg, U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command; Staff Officer, Directorate of Training, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations and Plans, Washington, DC; the Director of Intelligence, G2, Forces Command, Fort McPherson, Georgia; Deputy Commander, U.S. Army Intelligence Center and Fort Huachuca/Assistant Commandant, U.S. Army Intelligence School at Fort Huachuca, Arizona; and Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence, Headquarters, Department of the Army, Washington, DC.
On May 21, 1997, Kennedy became the first woman in the U.S. Army to hold a three-star rank.
Kennedy is a member of the Military Intelligence Hall of Fame.
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.
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.
General Kennedy also served as co-chair of the Platform Committee of the 2012 Democratic National Convention.
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