Ellyn Dunford

Senior Spouse


A Boston area native, Ellyn Dunford graduated from Simmons College with a BS in Physical Therapy, and moved to northern VA where she met her husband. Ellyn and General Joseph F. Dunford, Jr., the 19th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the nation’s highest-ranking military officer, have been married for over 30 years, through 18+ moves, six states, three children and numerous deployments in peacetime and war. For almost 30 years Mrs. Dunford was a practicing physical therapist, first in trauma and acute care, then the majority in pediatrics. The practice gave her much insight into issues facing EFMP families, children with educational special needs, and Wounded Warriors. Mrs. Dunford enjoys running and exercise, reading (never enough time), volunteering, and sewing. Her volunteer efforts with the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, Leadership Education Seminar, and various spouse clubs and Family Readiness Programs has been a source of enjoyment and pride in the many talents of military spouses. Mrs. Dunford considers it a privilege to have watched Family Readiness Programs morph from non-existent to spouse/volunteer run to professionalized with extensive training and management. Along with raising her family, she considers connecting with, and caring for military families as one of the most important roles she has had.