Author Topic: General to make history as Army's 1st female infantry division commander  (Read 2482 times)

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Offline FJAG

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Brig. Gen. Laura Yeager will make history later this month when she becomes the first woman to command a U.S. Army Infantry Division.

Yeager, a former Black Hawk helicopter pilot who deployed to Iraq, will assume command of the California National Guard's 40th Infantry Division during a ceremony in Los Alamitos, California, on June 29, according to a news release from the California Guard.

She received her commission from the U.S. Army in 1986 as a second lieutenant from the Reserve Officer Training Corps at California State University Long Beach. Three years later, Yeager completed military helicopter training and began serving as a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter aeromedical evacuation pilot.

Though Yeager left active duty service eight years later when her son was born, she continued her career in the California Army National Guard. In 2011, she deployed to Iraq as the deputy commander of the California Guard's 40th Combat Aviation Brigade.

...

See rest of article here:

https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/general-make-history-armys-1st-female-infantry-division/story?id=63536514

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Offline tomahawk6

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The National Guard is pretty political and promotions are up to the Governor. California is a liberal state. No doubt she got anointed because she is a woman. She isn't an infantry officer, but to command even an RA division you can come from any branch. Ioncesaw an Army Colonel retire from active duty and moments later he became a National Guard Major General and the State Adjutant General commanding the State's National Guard. Political for sure but a sweet deal none the less.

Offline Brihard

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The National Guard is pretty political and promotions are up to the Governor. California is a liberal state. No doubt she got anointed because she is a woman. She isn't an infantry officer, but to command even an RA division you can come from any branch. Ioncesaw an Army Colonel retire from active duty and moments later he became a National Guard Major General and the State Adjutant General commanding the State's National Guard. Political for sure but a sweet deal none the less.

So after apparently successful stints as a DComd of an aviation brigade in Iraq, then battalion command, then command of that same aviation brigade, and then command of Joint Task Force North out of Ft Bliss supporting USNORTHCOM, you’re going to go off her first name and photo and chalk up her division command appointment as simply “because vagina”? Neat.

Crazy thought: What if, despite being burdened by ovaries, maybe she actually merited the job based on proven command experience and some 32 years of effective service to her country?
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Offline Blackadder1916

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What I find interesting is not that a woman has been selected to command an arms formation but that a Medical Department officer has, for most of her career, progressed in the pointy end world.  While Medical Service Corps (MSC) officers (Aeromedical Evac Officers 67Js are MSC) can legally hold general command authority (vice the other AMEDD officers who are limited to command within AMEDD) it is unusual for an MSC officer (even a pilot) to have such a career without transferring to the Aviation Branch.  Well done, General Yeager.

Edited to add.

Mea culpa.  In looking at her bio at JTFN I noticed she was wearing the AMEDD regimental crest and assumed that she had continued that affiliation after she transitioned from the RA to the NG.  However, if I had looked a little further, I would have found an earlier official photo of her as a Colonel in which she is wearing Aviation Branch brass.  So, not so unusual.
« Last Edit: June 09, 2019, 12:52:43 by Blackadder1916 »
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Offline tomahawk6

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Think about it Brihard how does an officer with zero infantry experience end up commanding California's National Guard division ? Sure she has commanded aviation units and seen combat I think that merited her being promoted to BG. If the Governor wants to make her a Major General so be it. Her next step will be as State Adjutant General commanding the entire California NG which may set a new milestone- 1st female AG. Here is her bio. I once knew a four star general who commanded a field army,the 8th in Korea. He was an Engineer by trade but was a brilliant officer. Sometimes a unit like the 101st may have an aviator as commander since the division has a large chunk of aviation assets.Or sometimes there might be a division commander who was an artillery officer, it happens.The Regular Army has had female 4 star officers and others as two and three stars so in that regard the Army has helped women open doors that were previously closed. In the past administration we saw Ranger School and Infantry opened to women. I have been to Ranger School and its tough enough for men so if a female is tabbed she is exceptional.

https://www.nationalguard.mil/portals/31/Features/ngbgomo/bio/2/2928.html

https://www.nationalguard.mil/portals/31/Features/ngbgomo/bio/2/2928.html

Note to the bio. Amedd stands for Army Medical Department.
« Last Edit: June 09, 2019, 12:48:09 by tomahawk6 »

Offline Brihard

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Think about it Brihard how does an officer with zero infantry experience end up commanding California's National Guard division ? Sure she has commanded aviation units and seen combat I think that merited her being promoted to BG. If the Governor wants to make her a Major General so be it. Her next step will be as State Adjutant General commanding the entire California NG which may set a new milestone- 1st female AG. Here is her bio. I once knew a four star general who commanded a field army,the 8th in Korea. He was an Engineer by trade but was a brilliant officer. Sometimes a unit like the 101st may have an aviator as commander since the division has a large chunk of aviation assets.Or sometimes there might be a division commander who was an artillery officer, it happens.The Regular Army has had female 4 star officers and others as two and three stars so in that regard the Army has helped women open doors that were previously closed. In the past administration we saw Ranger School and Infantry opened to women. I have been to Ranger School and its tough enough for men so if a female is tabbed she is exceptional.

https://www.nationalguard.mil/portals/31/Features/ngbgomo/bio/2/2928.html

https://www.nationalguard.mil/portals/31/Features/ngbgomo/bio/2/2928.html

Note to the bio. Amedd stands for Army Medical Department.

Mm hm. She’s appointed to command a composite division assembled out of units from ten or twelve states. Is this a deplorable formation at the division level, or is her job to oversee deployable battalions and IBCTs? Does she require operational tactical knowledge for fighting a mech infantry division, and if so has that been covered in her professional education and training? Or is her role as an ARNG division commander much more bureaucratic and administrative than that? As best as I can tell, ARNG deployment even at the Brigade Combat Team level is unusual.

All said and done, I’m pretty confident those making the appointment are satisfied that they’ve picked someone capable of doing the job.
Pacificsm is doctrine fostered by a delusional minority and by the media, which holds forth the proposition it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.

Offline tomahawk6

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The National Guard is the major source of units and troops should the regular Army need to be reinforced such as the Gulf war. Then of course there is the domestic role in the event of fires,floods or some other disaster. The role has changed a lot from being a boys club to actually going to war. We used to call them weekend warriors due to their part time status. Now they train for real and are pretty good for what we expect from them. In the first Gulf War several reserve brigade commanders were relieved as the units trained to go.The institution has learned from the problems and has centralized Guard and Reserve promotion policies. In the RA a Colonel before getting a brigade command must attend one of the War Colleges.In the Guard this is done through a correspondence course if they aren't able to attend a residedence course due to their day jobs.

Offline Brihard

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The National Guard is the major source of units and troops should the regular Army need to be reinforced such as the Gulf war. Then of course there is the domestic role in the event of fires,floods or some other disaster. The role has changed a lot from being a boys club to actually going to war. We used to call them weekend warriors due to their part time status. Now they train for real and are pretty good for what we expect from them. In the first Gulf War several reserve brigade commanders were relieved as the units trained to go.The institution has learned from the problems and has centralized Guard and Reserve promotion policies. In the RA a Colonel before getting a brigade command must attend one of the War Colleges.In the Guard this is done through a correspondence course if they aren't able to attend a residedence course due to their day jobs.

Sure. And she completed the War College and other senior level training and education. Her professional resume seems to be comparable from that standpoint to the last two commanders (I didn’t check earlier than that). Between that, her operational wartime experience, and the centralized Guard and Reserve promotion policies you mentioned, I’ll suggest again that maybe she simply earned it. Based on what her job actually entails, perhaps her senior leadership and staff experience is more important than her specific MOS.
Pacificsm is doctrine fostered by a delusional minority and by the media, which holds forth the proposition it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.

Offline FJAG

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Mm hm. She’s appointed to command a composite division assembled out of units from ten or twelve states. Is this a deplorable formation at the division level, or is her job to oversee deployable battalions and IBCTs? Does she require operational tactical knowledge for fighting a mech infantry division, and if so has that been covered in her professional education and training? Or is her role as an ARNG division commander much more bureaucratic and administrative than that? As best as I can tell, ARNG deployment even at the Brigade Combat Team level is unusual.

All said and done, I’m pretty confident those making the appointment are satisfied that they’ve picked someone capable of doing the job.

Actually quite a few ARNG BCTs have deployed on operations during the War on Terror. Here's just one article about an ABCT just back from Kuwait:

https://www.armytimes.com/news/your-army/2019/04/15/largest-guard-armored-unit-deployment-in-a-decade-wraps-up-an-even-bigger-one-is-on-the-way/

Seven ARNG IBCTs and one ARNG Manouvre Enhancement Brigade deployed to run the mentoring/embedded training team programs in Afghanistan for Task Force Phoenix:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Task_Force_Phoenix

In fact the headquarters of the 29th Infantry Division, an ARNG formation, took over the role of TF Spartan in Kuwait in 2016 where it commanded some 16,000 troops.

https://vaguard.dodlive.mil/2016/12/21/9366/

I don't support Tomahawk6's position at all as to me it looks like Yaeger has had more than enough experience and military training/education to have earned this position on her own merits, however, ARNG BCTs and divisional headquarters (as well as many ARNG and USAR support brigades) are manned, equipped and deployable entities that have spent a considerable time on operational deployments over the last two (even three) decades. They aren't merely administrative entities. The 40th ID which she is taking over, recently deployed personnel to Afghanistan under Operation Freedom's Sentinel.

https://www.army.mil/article/208146/new_commander_welcomed_at_train_advise_and_assist_command_south
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/40th_Infantry_Division_(United_States)#cite_note-26

Tomahawk6: You might wish to recall that Robert E Lee was commissioned as an engineer and served from 1837 to 1855 as a member of that branch before putting in a few years in the cavalry before the Civil War. He didn't do too badly with his infantry.  ;D

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Offline Brihard

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Actually quite a few ARNG BCTs have deployed on operations during the War on Terror. Here's just one article about an ABCT just back from Kuwait:

https://www.armytimes.com/news/your-army/2019/04/15/largest-guard-armored-unit-deployment-in-a-decade-wraps-up-an-even-bigger-one-is-on-the-way/

Seven ARNG IBCTs and one ARNG Manouvre Enhancement Brigade deployed to run the mentoring/embedded training team programs in Afghanistan for Task Force Phoenix:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Task_Force_Phoenix

In fact the headquarters of the 29th Infantry Division, an ARNG formation, took over the role of TF Spartan in Kuwait in 2016 where it commanded some 16,000 troops.

https://vaguard.dodlive.mil/2016/12/21/9366/

I don't support Tomahawk6's position at all as to me it looks like Yaeger has had more than enough experience and military training/education to have earned this position on her own merits, however, ARNG BCTs and divisional headquarters (as well as many ARNG and USAR support brigades) are manned, equipped and deployable entities that have spent a considerable time on operational deployments over the last two (even three) decades. They aren't merely administrative entities. The 40th ID which she is taking over, recently deployed personnel to Afghanistan under Operation Freedom's Sentinel.

https://www.army.mil/article/208146/new_commander_welcomed_at_train_advise_and_assist_command_south
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/40th_Infantry_Division_(United_States)#cite_note-26

Tomahawk6: You might wish to recall that Robert E Lee was commissioned as an engineer and served from 1837 to 1855 as a member of that branch before putting in a few years in the cavalry before the Civil War. He didn't do too badly with his infantry.  ;D

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I found and read that same story about the ABCT- in fact it was what led to my commment; it seemed to suggest that deploymentver wheth on that scale is at least uncommon. What I should have said instead though was it suggested that an ARNG division would not be deployed in its entirety, nullifying the concern over whether that particular MOS of a division commander would make them an appropriate choice. Even at that though you’ve shown me to be wrong on the deployability of their division commands; thanks for the correction on the facts.

We still seem to stand in agreement that this particular officer seems to be appropriately qualified for the role. I don’t imagine for a second that, were she male, this appointment would be in any way noteworthy.
Pacificsm is doctrine fostered by a delusional minority and by the media, which holds forth the proposition it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.

Offline Blackadder1916

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We still seem to stand in agreement that this particular officer seems to be appropriately qualified for the role. I don’t imagine for a second that, were she male, this appointment would be in any way noteworthy.

Yes, her CV isn't much different than many other officers of her grade.  As for being Aviation, it doesn't seem that it has hindered a whole slew of general officers, including the next Chief of Staff.  https://www.quad-a.org/Public/Contact_AAAA/About_AAAA/General_Officers/Public/About/General_Officers.aspx?hkey=8a79b153-ad2d-48cf-bc8f-d62830c8a3cd
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Offline FJAG

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Yes, her CV isn't much different than many other officers of her grade.  As for being Aviation, it doesn't seem that it has hindered a whole slew of general officers, including the next Chief of Staff.  https://www.quad-a.org/Public/Contact_AAAA/About_AAAA/General_Officers/Public/About/General_Officers.aspx?hkey=8a79b153-ad2d-48cf-bc8f-d62830c8a3cd

Including one taking command of the 35th Inf Div KS National Guard. Finding that led me to the following:

Quote
On 20 June 1998, the NATO-led SFOR in Bosnia-Herzegovina transitioned to a slightly smaller follow-on force led by the 1st Cavalry Division from Fort Hood, Texas. The US agreed to provide a force of approximately 6,900 US personnel to maintain a capable military force in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Simultaneously, Operation Joint Guard ended, and Operation Joint Forge began. Operation Joint Forge would continue to build on the successes of Operations Joint Endeavor and Joint Guard. No timeline for the duration of Operation Joint Forge was initially established. The mission would be assessed periodically, and the force commitment would be adjusted as circumstances required.

On 4 August 1999, the 10th Mountain Division (Light) assumed command of MND(N) and Task Force Eagle. On 7 March 2000, the 49th Armored Division of the Texas Army National Guard assumed control of MND(N) and Task Force Eagle. On 5 October 2000, the 3rd Infantry Division from Fort Stewart, Georgia, took control of MND(N) and Task Force Eagle at a transfer of authority ceremony held on Eagle Base.

In October 2001, the 29th Infantry Division (Light) (Virginia Army National Guard) took control of Task Force Eagle. In April 2002, the 25th Infantry Division (Light) took control of Task Force Eagle. In October 2002, the 28th Infantry Division (Pennsylvania Army National Guard) took control of Task Force Eagle. In April 2003, the 35th Infantry Division (Mechanized) (Kansas Army National Guard) took control of Task Force Eagle. In September 2003, the 34th Infantry Division (Minnesota Army National Guard) took control of Task Force Eagle. During this period, NATO also changed the designations for the components of SFOR and MND(N) was redesignated as Multi National Brigade (North) or MNB(N).

In March 2004, the 38th Infantry Division (Mechanized) (Indiana Army National Guard) took control of MND(N) and Task Force Eagle. On 1 June 2004, NATO again changed the designations for the components of SFOR and MNB(N) was redesignated as Multi National Task Force North or MNTF(N). There had initially been plans for a SFOR-16 rotation, which was to have been led first 42nd Infantry Division (New York Army National Guard) before being changed to the 40th Infantry Division (California Army National Guard). However, before this deployment could occur the decision was made to end the NATO operation and replace it with one led by the European Union. NATO's SFOR and the US Army's Task Force Eagle were subsequently inactivated at the end of 2004.

https://www.globalsecurity.org/military/agency/army/tf-eagle.htm

What I find particularly interesting is that not only do these ARNG division headquarters actually command BCT and Aviation brigades full of people and equipment but they get used on various operational missions....The 49th Armored Division (Texas ARNG) has since been deactivated and reactivated as the 36th Infantry Division (Texas ARNG). Here's what it looks like:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/36th_Infantry_Division_(United_States)#Current_structure

Makes you absolutely sick when you think of the bullshit the CAF has done with our reserves.

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Offline Blackadder1916

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Including one taking command of the 35th Inf Div KS National Guard.


Who also has time for a day job.

Quote
CIVILIAN OCCUPATION
 In his civilian profession, Major General Braden is the leader of the Kansas Attorney General's Criminal Litigation Division, which focuses on the prosecution of murderers, child predators, and major illicit drug traffickers. As a prosecutor with more than 20 years of experience, he has handled numerous high-profile murder cases in Kansas, including those that qualify for the death penalty.
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Offline FJAG

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I'll add one more example of National Guard employment:

Quote
POLAND
09.20.2018
Story by Sgt. Sarah Kirby
278th Armored Cavalry Regiment, Tennessee Army National Guard 

BEMOWO PISKIE, Poland — Task Force Raider, part of the Tennessee Army National Guard has officially assumed responsibility of NATO’s Enhanced Forward Presence, Battle Group Poland, during a transfer of authority ceremony at Bemowo Piskie Training Area, Poland, Sept. 20.

U.S. Army Lt. Col. Donny Hebel, commander of the Tennessee Army National Guard’s 2nd Squadron, 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment (Task Force Raider) assumes command of Battle Group Poland from U.S. Army Lt. Col. Timothy Wright, commander of 1st Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment (War Eagles).
The arrival of 2/278th ACR marks the first rotation of a U.S. Armored Task Force under NATO providing presence along the eastern border of Poland. ...

Rest of article here:

https://www.dvidshub.net/news/294417/tenn-army-national-guard-assumes-responsibility-natos-efp-battle-group-poland

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Offline tomahawk6

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The difference between the US and CAF use of reserves is that the US has a law that permits them to train, or attend school or deploy without losing their day job. Canada has no such law and short of a war the reserves as units can't deploy. Change the law and your reserves would be able to deploy easing the burden on the Regular Force. The professional enhancement of having veterans available would be nice. US reservists/national guard have a lot of combat experience which is good for the country and for the Army.

Offline FJAG

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The difference between the US and CAF use of reserves is that the US has a law that permits them to train, or attend school or deploy without losing their day job. Canada has no such law and short of a war the reserves as units can't deploy. Change the law and your reserves would be able to deploy easing the burden on the Regular Force. The professional enhancement of having veterans available would be nice. US reservists/national guard have a lot of combat experience which is good for the country and for the Army.

You don't have to convince me. We do have job protection laws here but they are a mess and almost useless, however, they are far from the only thing that has screwed up our reserves for over 50 years now. There's a long list of things that require fixing but to make a long story short, our senior leadership is in no hurry to fix it. They'd rather try to fine tune a system that's patently broken and, together with our Regular Army, needs rebuilding from the ground up.

There are things wrong with the ARNG and the USAR as well but quite frankly your system is far superior to ours; it's designed to actually provide value for money and for the most part delivers when called upon. We could learn a lot from you but unfortunately our senior leadership can't seem to work up the energy to get their heads out of their butts long enough to see what needs doing.

Here's the strange part. I joined the Army in the mid 60's at a time when we still had the equipment and organizations that could go to war against the Soviets with our allies on a near peer basis. Today our soldiers are much better equipped and trained than we ever were but at this point most second string Russian units would hand us our asses. We've seriously fallen behind.

We lost the bubble somewhere (and by that I mean long before Afghanistan) - it was probably when the Berlin Wall came down and we all thought the peace dividend would last forever. With every budget reduction we cut back on our war fight capabilities but continued to grow our headquarters.

I could go on but have ranted enough for one night.

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Offline tomahawk6

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I saw this story this morning about BG Yeager. Her father is a retired MG. Runs in the family eh ?

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/meet-brig-gen-laura-yeager-first-woman-to-lead-army-infantry-division/ar-AACCIkl?ocid=spartanntp

Offline Journeyman

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The role has changed a lot from being a boys club....
And yet, a girl  being in charge is cause for derision.  I guess the role can change, but some people can't.    :not-again:

Offline tomahawk6

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I haven't derided her. By the by her daddy is a retired California NG MG so its great that she has picked up the torch to carry on in the family trade. His name is Robert Brandt.

Offline Brihard

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I haven't derided her.

Bullshit. 

Quote from: tomahawk6
California is a liberal state. No doubt she got anointed because she is a woman.

You immediately discredited her promotion (not 'anointment' - a promotion) as 'no doubt' simply being due to her sex, not any amount of merit. If that's not derision, I don't know what is.
Pacificsm is doctrine fostered by a delusional minority and by the media, which holds forth the proposition it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.

Offline tomahawk6

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 I applaud her promotion to be.