A woman who has served in the U.S. Army for 33 years has become the first female to rise to the rank of four-star general in the history of the U.S. military.

General Ann Dunwoody received the promotion Friday during a ceremony at Department of Defense headquarters [the Pentagon] outside Washington.

She said that although she is the first woman to reach the rank, she knows she will not be the last.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who presided over the ceremony, called Dunwoody a "proven leader."

U.S. President George Bush nominated Dunwoody for the post in June, and the decision was approved by the U.S. Senate.

In her new role, General Dunwoody will take charge of the Army's Materiel Command, which is responsible for providing arms, equipment and other logistical support for soldiers.