BY SGT. 1ST CLASS JAMES LALLY • SPECIAL TO DAILYTRIB.COM
A Burnet High School graduate made history May 5 as the first woman to take command of one of the oldest regiments in the U.S. Army.
Lt. Col. Meghann O. Plumlee assumed command of the 101st Engineer Battalion, Massachusetts Army National Guard, from Lt. Col. Joshua A. Goodrich during a change of command ceremony.
Plumlee grew up in Burnet and graduated from Burnet High School in the 1990s. She is a West Point graduate and was commissioned a second lieutenant in 2002.
“This is a historic unit. I am deeply honored to be rejoining the Victory Battalion as your commander,” Plumlee said during the ceremony. “I look forward to working with each of you as we continue to contribute to the 101st’s legacy.”
The 101st is one of the oldest-serving regiments of the US Army. In 1636, the unit was established as the East Regiment and participated in the first muster held on the green in Salem, Massachusetts. For many, Salem is thought to be the birthplace of the National Guard.
Following her commission in 2002, she served as a platoon leader, a company executive officer, and a battalion intelligence officer with the 1st Infantry Division’s 9th Engineer Battalion (Combat Mechanized) in Schweinfurt, Germany.
From Germany, she moved to Fort Dix, New Jersey, where she served as both an observer-controller/trainer with the 2nd of the 310th Regiment and weapons officer-in-charge.
Plumlee deployed to Iraq as a platoon leader in an Engineer Task Force in 2004-05 and to Afghanistan with the 26th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade as an executive officer of a Base Support Group in 2011-12.
Along the way, Plumlee earned a master’s degree in homeland security from the Van Loan School at Endicott College.
Plumlee joined the Massachusetts National Guard in 2007 and has served as company commander of the 188th Facilities Engineer Detachment, plans officer for the 26th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, battalion operations officer for the 101st Engineer Battalion, facilities maintenance officer at Camp Edwards, and, most recently, the 26th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade’s operations officer.
Her military education and training include Command and General Staff College, the Euro NATO Training Engineer Centre, Tactical Information Operations Course, and Airborne School. She was awarded the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Bronze Star Medal, the Combat Action Badge, and the Parachutist Badge.
Plumlee and her husband, Will, have been married for 10 years, reside in Ipswich, Massachusetts, and have two children, Campbell and Sarah.