The West Virginia National Guard celebrated a historic milestone on Thursday when Michaelle M. Munger was promoted to the rank of brigadier general, making her the first female to become a general officer for the West Virginia Army National Guard.
“Michaelle shines as a leader and mentor. She has a tremendous reserve of energy and enthusiasm which she brings to bear every single day,” said Maj. Gen. Bill Crane, adjutant general of West Virginia. “While it is significant that she has become the first ever female general officer for the West Virginia Army National Guard, it is her truest qualities as a leader that we honor and recognize today.”
Over her 27-year career, Munger served on active duty in the U.S. Army and in the U.S. Army Reserves and the Army National Guard. She was commissioned through the Reserve Officer Training Corps in 1994 and has served in various roles including working for the National Guard Bureau and at the Pentagon.
Munger served the West Virginia National Guard for two years as the director of joint operations and as the first female brigade commander for the West Virginia Army National Guard.
“Today is an incredible day,” Munger said. “I am tremendously excited that Gov. Justice and Maj. Gen. Crane have the confidence and faith in me to give me this opportunity.”
Munger thinks that having a female perspective is an important element in promoting Army values.
“What we bring to the mission is unique not because we are females, but because of our ability to approach the mission in perhaps a different perspective and viewpoint,” she said. “Additionally, by being at the table, we can display our competency and capabilities, and to dispel stereotypes to help younger soldiers not face the same gender-related limitations and hurdles we might have faced in our own careers. Every soldier needs to be heard and judged based not on their sex, but by their ideas and vision.”
Munger will serve as special assistant to the adjutant general of West Virginia in her new role. She will assist with special projects, mentorship, inclusion and diversity initiatives and leadership development within the WVNG.
Munger is the first female general officer for the West Virginia Army National Guard but Brig. Gen. Paige P. Hunter was promoted to that rank in 2016, upon assuming command of the West Virginia Air National Guard.