This biography of a living person needs additional citations for verification. Please help by adding reliable sources. Contentious material about living persons that is unsourced or poorly sourced must be removed immediately from the article and its talk page, especially if potentially libelous.Find sources: "Carol Mutter" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (November 2008) (Learn how and when to remove this message)
Carol A. Mutter
Mutter at the U.S. Marine Barracks in February 2014
Born (1945-12-17) December 17, 1945 (age 78)
Greeley, Colorado, U.S.
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Marine Corps
Years of service1967–1999
Rank Lieutenant general
Commands held3rd Force Service Support Group, III MEF
Marine Corps Systems Command at Marine Corps Base Quantico
Awards Navy Distinguished Service Medal
Defense Superior Service Medal
Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal
Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal
Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation (w/ 1 service star)
National Defense Service Medal (w/ 1 service star)
Navy Sea Service Deployment Ribbon (w/ 4 service stars)
Spouse(s)James Mutter (husband)[1][2]
Other workNational Advisory Council of the Alliance for National Defense, National Academy of Sciences Committee on American Youth Population and Military Recruiting, National President of the Women Marines Association, Neah Power[2]

Carol A. Mutter (born December 17, 1945) is a former United States Marine Corps lieutenant general. She is the first woman in the history of the U.S. Armed Forces to be appointed to a three-star grade. She retired from the Marine Corps on January 1, 1999. Her last active duty assignment was as Deputy Chief of Staff, Manpower and Reserve Affairs (DC/S, M&RA) at Marine Corps Headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Early life and education

Mutter was born on December 17, 1945 in Greeley, Colorado. In 1967 she was commissioned a second lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps upon graduation from the University of Northern Colorado. In addition to holding a B.A. degree in Mathematics Education and an honorary doctorate from the University of Northern Colorado, 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 University, also in Newport.


Mutter at change of command ceremony for 3rd FSSG as a brigadier general in May 1994.
Mutter as a lieutenant general.

After completing the Woman Officer Basic Course in 1967 at Marine Corps Base Quantico, she was assigned to data processing installations at Quantico, Virginia 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.

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 at Camp Pendleton, CA; Financial Management Officer at the Development Center, Quantico, Virginia; Assistant Chief of Staff, Comptroller, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, Okinawa, Japan; and Deputy Comptroller at Headquarters, Fleet Marine Force, Atlantic in 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 United States 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 3rd 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 in the Marine Corps to be promoted to the grade of major general and served as Commander, Marine Corps Systems Command at Marine Corps Base Quantico until August 1996. On September 1, 1996, Mutter was promoted to lieutenant general and assumed the duties as DC/S M&RA. Lieutenant General Mutter retired in 1999.

Mutter also attended the Amphibious Warfare School and the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, both at Quantico, Virginia.

Personal life

Mutter is married to James Mutter, who is a former U.S. Marine Corps colonel.[1][2]

Awards and decorations

Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Navy Distinguished Service Medal
Defense Superior Service Medal
Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal
Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal
Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation w/ 1 service star
National Defense Service Medal w/ 1 service star
Navy Sea Service Deployment Ribbon w/ 4 service stars

In 2017, she was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame.[3]


See also


  1. ^ a b Dufour, Tia (February 21, 2014). "Home of the Commandants dinner: Image 47 of 68". DVIDS. Defense Imagery Management Operations Center. Retrieved May 11, 2014.
  2. ^ a b c "Neah Power Names Retired Marines Lt. Gen. Carol Mutter and Col. James Mutter to Strategic Advisory Board: Company adds military expertise to assist with defense markets". February 26, 2008. Archived from the original on May 12, 2014. Retrieved May 11, 2014. ((cite web)): Unknown parameter |deadurl= ignored (|url-status= suggested) (help)
  3. ^ Posted: Sep 17, 2017 12:53 AM EDT (2017-09-17). "Ten women added to National Women's Hall of Fame in Seneca". Retrieved 2017-09-28.((cite web)): CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)

Further reading

Template:Notable Women Generals in the U.S. Military