First female brigadier general atteded Simpson

by Ben Rodgers

The Iowa Air National Guard has appointed Indianola resident Jennifer Walter, as the first female brigadier general.

The Iowa Air National Guard is the air branch of the Iowa National Guard and reserve component of the United States Air Force.

Before her promotion, Walter was Vice Wing Commander with the 132nd fighter wing in Des Moines, Iowa. Walter was given the promotion on Sept. 29, and had he promotion ceremony on Oct. 14.

Walter was born in Springfield, Miss. and spent most of her early childhood there. Due to her father’s job, her family moved around a great deal while she was growing up.

Walter graduated high school from Sioux City North, in Sioux City, Iowa. After graduating from high school, Walter joined the Kansas Air Guard, located in Topeka, in 1975. She decided to join after a recruiter from the Kansas Air Guard had visited her in high school.

“I wanted to do something different, versus work in an office,” Walters said. “I had also tried college for a semester, but didn’t like it at that point.”

In September of 1975, Walter transferred from the Kansas Air Guard to Des Moines, Iowa and joined the 132nd fighter wing.

While Walter didn’t go to college right away, she did end up going back. She attended DMACC, Upper Iowa and Simpson College. Walter attended Simpson’s evening program where she received a business management degree.

“I loved Simpson,” Walter said. “I had to take one Simpson course and one DMACC course, because I could afford to take all my class at Simpson, but I loved it.”

Walter said that she is very honored that she was able to be the first woman appointed to this position in the State of Iowa.

“I feel honored to be the first, and mostly I feel honored to have been selected for brigadier general,” Walter said. “This certainly makes it special for all women serving in the military and in the Iowa Air Guard to be able to represent them as the first female.”

As brigadier general, Walter will oversee three wing units in Sioux City, Fort Dodge and Des Moines.

With accepting this new position, Walter is looking forward to a number of different things.

“We have a lot of budget challenges here in the United States and that is a concern for receiving training dollars,” Walter said. “I am also looking forward to being involved in the force management and force development for the airmen in the state.”