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Texas Air National Guard names first female one-star general

AUSTIN, Texas (Jan. 15, 2016) – The Adjutant General of Texas, Maj. Gen. John F. Nichols, is pleased to announce the promotion of Texas Air National Guard Col. Dawn M. Ferrell, Deputy Adjutant General-Air, to the rank of Brigadier General.

Ferrell became the first female in the Texas Air National Guard to be promoted to brigadier general, in a ceremony held Jan. 15, 2016, in Texas Capitol's Senate Chambers in Austin. During her remarks she thanked the command group, as well as her friends and family for their continued support over the years.

“I am honored and humbled to be selected for this role by our governor and look forward to serving the citizens of Texas,” said Ferrell. “I’ve been fortunate to have leaders that saw something in me and have mentored and prepared me for my new role.”

Ferrell’s family pinned on the new rank while Gov. Greg Abbott administered the Oath of Office.

“America is the brightest beacon of freedom the world has ever known thanks to the service of people like Dawn,” said Governor Abbott. “In her 33 years of dedicated service here in Texas, Dawn has demonstrated patriotism, valor, fidelity and leadership. As the father of a teenage daughter, I am especially proud to see Dawn promoted as the first, but not the last, Texas Air National Guard female General.”

Ferrell began her military career in August 1983 as an air cargo specialist in the TXANG. She later commissioned through the Air National Guard’s Academy of Military Science in February 1994 and has held various command and staff positions within the TXANG’s 136th Airlift Wing at Hensley and Carswell Fields, both in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

In her most recent assignment, she commanded the 136th Mission Support Group at the 136th Airlift Wing, leading the Civil Engineer Squadron, Security Forces Squadron, Logistics Readiness Squadron, Force Support Squadron, Communications Flight and a contracting element.

She deployed as the aerial port commander for Hurricanes Katrina and Rita relief efforts at Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Belle Chase in New Orleans and Ellington Field in Houston, where her team set up a fully functioning aerial port to handle the influx of aircraft delivering troops and supplies to the hurricane devastated areas. Ferrell later deployed to the International Security Assistance Force Headquarters in Kabul, Afghanistan, in a joint NATO assignment as the director of plans and logistics operations, where she was responsible for strategic-level oversight for logistics planning, sustainment, and redeployment of U.S. and NATO forces.

On Nov. 13, 2015, Ferrell was appointed by the governor as the Deputy Adjutant General-Air. A native Texan, Ferrell graduated with a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees from Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls and earned her doctorate of philosophy from the University of North Texas in Denton.


The mission of the Texas Military Department (TMD) is to provide the Governor and the President with ready and trained forces in support of the citizens of Texas and State and Federal civil/military authorities at home and abroad.

The Texas Military Department is commanded by the Adjutant General of Texas, the state's senior military official appointed by the governor. The Texas Military Department includes the Texas Army National Guard (TXARNG), the Texas Air National Guard (TXANG), the Texas State Guard (TXSG) and the Domestic Operations Command (DOMOPS).

For more information about the Texas Military Department visit our website at

Texas Military Department Public Affairs
P.O. Box 5218, Building 10
Camp Mabry (Austin), Texas 78703
Phone: 512-782-5620