February 18, 2010—Retired Maj. Gen. Jeanne M. Holm, the Air Force's first female brigadier general and who later became DOD's first female major general, died Feb. 15. She was 88.
Holm enlisted in the Army in 1942, serving initially as a truck driver, and then, attended Officer Candidate School, receiving a commission in 1943 in the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps. She left active duty in 1946, was recalled in 1948 during the Berlin crisis, and, in 1949, transferred to the Air Force.
She served in various personnel and plans assignments at wing, Air Staff, and NATO levels. During this time, she became the first woman to attend Air Command and Staff School.
Holm served as director of Women in the Air Force on the Air Staff from 1965 to 1973, during which time she was instrumental in policy revisions that greatly expanded job and assignment opportunities for women in USAF. She received the Distinguished Service Medal for her work in this assignment.
In 1973, she became director of the Secretary of the Air Force Personnel Council, in which position she received her second star. She retired in 1975 after some 34 years of total service.
She continued to support women in the military, including writing Women in the Military: An Unfinished Revolution and serving in advisory roles in three Administrations.
Among her awards, Holm received the Air Force Association's Lifetime Achievement Award in 2003 and entered the International Women in Aviation Pioneer Hall of Fame in 2006.
In 2008, Air University named its newly reorganized Officer Accession and Training Schools the Jeanne M. Holm Center for Officer Accessions and Citizen Development (Web site and fact sheet). (Also see Holm's page and interview for the Library of Congress Veterans History Project; Air Force Print News release)