Lt. Gen. Karen Dyson gets her new rank affixed to her uniform by Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Ray Odierno, and her husband, retired Air Force Col. James Chamberlain, at the Pentagon on Aug. 12. (Lisa Ferdinando/Army)
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One of the Army’s top budget gurus was promoted to lieutenant general Tuesday, making her one of only five female Army three-stars serving on active duty today.
Lt. Gen. Karen Dyson most recently was the director of the Army budget. She is now the military deputy for budget to the assistant secretary of the Army (financial management and comptroller).
Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno praised Dyson for a distinguished career, during which she commanded at all levels, “doing all the jobs we expect great leaders to do,” he said.
Dyson is calm in a crisis, Odierno said. “Usually that crisis is trying to explain something to me,” Odierno said jokingly, adding she is always working to improve herself.
Her knowledge of how the Army works and her experience from her years in uniform served her well as she navigated the budget crisis faced by the Army in the last few years, he said.
“She’s also not afraid to lead change,” Odierno said. “And I know she will continue to contribute greatly to our Army.”
With her promotion, Dyson joins a small group of women who have earned the rank of lieutenant general. The others are Lt. Gen. Flora Darpino, the Army Judge Advocate General; Lt. Gen. Patricia Horoho, the Army surgeon general; Lt. Gen. Mary Legere, the Army deputy chief of staff for intelligence; and Lt. Gen. Patricia McQuistion, the deputy commanding general of Army Materiel Command.
In all, there are 59 active-duty Army lieutenant generals; 39 serve in Army positions and the others in joint billets, according to information provided by the Army.
Dyson, who has served in operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom, and Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm, comes from a military family.
Her father is a Special Forces officer who served two tours in Vietnam, her brothers served in the Army, and her husband is a retired Air Force colonel.
“My career began when I decided to enter the family business,” Dyson said in her remarks.
She thanked the noncommissioned officers who served alongside her in the early years of her career, crediting them for setting her on the right path to succeed in uniform. She also acknowledged her family and the soldiers she served with and for throughout her career.
In her remarks, Dyson also highlighted former Staff Sgt. Ryan Pitts, who last month received the Medal of Honor for his actions during the fierce 2008 battle in Wanat, Afghanistan, and Maj. Gen. Harold Greene, who was killed last week in a deadly insider attack in Kabul, Afghanistan.
“To serve alongside these two soldiers ... and to serve in a profession with such a rich history of meeting our nation’s demands is humbling,” Dyson said.