November 1, 2011
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -
General Ann E. Dunwoody, Commanding General of the United States Army Materiel Command at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, spoke at Bryant Hall on the University of Alabama campus on Monday evening to students in UA's Athletic Emerging Leaders program.
The first and only female four-star general in the history of the Department of Defense, Gen. Dunwoody is a former collegiate athlete who participated in the tennis and gymnastics programs during her undergraduate time at the State University of New York's SUNY-Cortland campus. Some of her most recent accomplishments include being the current holder of the NCAA's highest award, the Theodore Roosevelt Award. She was honored alongside former UA quarterback Greg McElroy at the NCAA national convention in San Antonio this past January.
It was at this convention that Kevin Almond, UA's associate athletic director, first met Dunwoody and asked her to come and speak to Alabama student-athletes.
"I was at the convention and knew that Gen. Dunwoody had recently moved to Alabama and after hearing her acceptance speech, I had to ask her to visit our campus and speak to our students," said Almond.
In her speech on Monday, titled `Strategic Choices - Adapt to Win,' Dunwoody began by explaining her reaction to the support UA student-athletes gave the Tuscaloosa community following the April 27 tornados.
"My husband, Craig, and I moved to Alabama six months ago, one day before the devastating tornados," says Dunwoody. "The Crimson Tide's finest victory came after the tornado as the athletes reached out to the community and I am thrilled to be with such an outstanding group of student-athletes."
Dunwoody went on to detail her transition from college athlete to Army general and gave all in attendance advice on how to succeed in any situation.
"I love sports so much that in college, that's all I ever thought I wanted to do. But once I put on my army outfit for the first time, I knew it was what I was meant to do," says Dunwoody.
She also explained that trust is the element that can set one apart from the competition and allow them to win.
"Trust can trump skill, talent and natural ability and can allow ordinary folks to achieve extraordinary things," says Dunwoody. "You will be challenged and you will be tested. People who can learn to trust and be trusted can win on any playing field."
Dunwoody went on to say that support from friends, family and loved ones is essential to helping you achieve balance in your life, and she credits her husband, Craig, for being her support system.
In closing, Dunwoody advised the students be prepared for their future challenges and to embrace the changes they may face.
"No matter what future plans you have, what your major is or what sport you play, you're in for surprises," says Dunwoody. "You can't let the surprises surprise you, you have to be ready for them."