Lieutenant General Carol A. Mutter, the first woman in the Marine Corps to attain 3-star rank, retired from the Marine Corps effective 1 January 1999. Her last assignment was as the Deputy Chief of Staff for Manpower and Reserve Affairs (DC/S,M&RA), Headquarters Marine Corps, Washington, D.C.
General Mutter was born in Greeley, Colorado in 1945. In 1967, she was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Marine Corps upon graduation from the University of Northern Colorado, in Greeley. In addition to holding a B.A. degree in Mathematics Education and an honorary doctorate from the University of North Carolina, General Mutter has an M.A. degree in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College at Newport, Rhode Island and both an M.S. and an honorary doctorate degree from Salve Regina College, also in Newport.
After completing the Woman Officer Basic Course in 1967 at Quantico, Virginia, she was assigned to data processing installations at Quantico, and at Camp Pendleton, California. In 1971, she returned to Quantico as a platoon commander and instructor for women officer candidates and basic course lieutenants; she departed this tour as a Captain of Marines.
During 1973-1984, she progressed to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel while serving as Project Officer for Marine Air Command and Control Systems at Marine Corps Tactical Systems Support Activity, Camp Pendleton; Financial Management Officer at the Development Center, Quantico; Assistant Chief of Staff, Comptroller, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, Okinawa, Japan; and Deputy Comptroller at Headquarters, Fleet Marine Force Atlantic, Norfolk, Virginia. In 1985, capitalizing on her expertise in both data processing and financial management, she was assigned as the Deputy Program Manager, and subsequently Program Manager, for the development of new Marine Corps automated pay and personnel systems for active duty, retired, and reserve Marines.
In July 1988, as a Colonel, she joined the U.S. Space Command, J-3 (Operations) Directorate in Colorado Springs becoming the first woman to gain qualification as a Space Director. After initially serving as a Command Center Crew Commander/Space Director, she became the Division Chief, responsible for the operation of the Space Command Commander in Chief's Command Center.
August 1990 brought a transfer to III Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF) on Okinawa, Japan and duty as the Assistant Chief of Staff, Comptroller for both III MEF and 3d Marine Division. In June 1991, she returned to Quantico as a Brigadier General to serve as the Deputy Commanding General, Marine Corps Systems Command and Program Manager for Command and Control Systems. In June 1992, she again transferred to Okinawa, this time as the first woman of general/flag officer rank to command a major deployable tactical command, the 3d Force Service Support Group, III MEF, U.S. Marine Forces Pacific. In June 1994, she became the first woman Marine Major General and served as Commander, Marine Corps Systems Command, Quantico. Upon advancement to Lieutenant General on 1 September 1996, she assumed her duties as DC/S M&RA.
In addition to the Naval War College at Newport, General Mutter has attended the Amphibious Warfare School and the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, both at Quantico.
Her medals and decorations include: the Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Navy Achievement Medal, Meritorious Unit Commendation with bronze star, National Defense Service Medal with bronze star, and the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon with four bronze stars.