First Woman to Command a Brigade in Combat Looks Back on Army Career | Military.com
For more than 35 years, El Pasoan and Army Maj. Gen. Heidi V. Brown has broken gender barriers and served as a role model during a history-making military career.
Brown, 57, officially retired from the Army on Saturday.
When she got an opportunity during her career, she made the most of it, Brown said.
"You just want to be afforded the same opportunities everyone else is afforded," Brown said during an interview. "That is the first step. Don't discount me. You can pick me last if you think I'm not good enough. Just pick me and give me a chance and let me show you what I can do."
"That's what all of us want," Brown continued. "It doesn't matter if it's gender, race, religion, whatever it may be. Just give me a chance and treat me like everyone else."
During the Iraq war in 2003, she commanded Fort Bliss' 31st Air Defense Artillery Brigade and became the first woman to command a brigade in combat. The 31st ADA Brigade is now headquartered at Fort Sill, Okla.
Her most recent assignment was as the director of global operations for U.S. Strategic Command at Offutt Air Force Base, Neb. She was the first female combatant command operations officer and first U.S. Army soldier to serve in that position for Strategic Command.
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