Carol Mutter
Marine Corps General 
By Kathleen McFadden

     When Carol Mutter joined the U.S. Marine Corps right after she graduated from college in 1967, she had no long-term military ambitions. She expected to serve her three-year stint and then go on to something else. But Carol soon realized that even though her opportunities were limited, her position in the military had some significant advantages over the private sector: "... we were limited in the types of jobs that we could hold and the responsibilities that we had. But I had equal pay for equal work. I looked around at some of my civilian friends and what they were doing, and in many of their jobs, they didn't get the respect that goes with the rank that's on your shoulders when you're an officer in the military." 

     So Carol stayed in the Marines and continued her education. She earned two master's degrees and worked in logistics, data processing, financial management, and personnel administration. Doors slowly began to open to women, and Carol's education and expertise allowed her to go through them. 

     In 1992, Carol took charge of one of the three logistics commands in the Marine Corps that are programmed to go to war in the support of ground and aviation forces. She was the first woman in the world to be assigned to lead a major deployable command. Then, on September 1, 1996, Carol became the first woman in the Corps to attain the rank of lieutenant general. She assumed duties as the Deputy Chief of Staff for Manpower and Reserve Affairs, dealing with staffing and quality of life issues for both military and civilian personnel. 

     In January 1999, Carol retired from the Corps after 31 years of active duty, and keeps busy through her work with the National Academy of Sciences Committee on American Youth and Military Recruiting, the Women Marines Association, and the National Advisory Council of the Alliance for National Defense. Carol was born on December 17, 1945.

Learn more about Carol Mutter at