Brig. Gen. Laura Yeager will take command of the California National Guard’s 40th Infantry Division on on June 29, 2019. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE
Brig. Gen. Laura Yeager will take command of the California National Guard’s 40th Infantry Division on on June 29, 2019. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE

Army’s first woman to lead an infantry division wants to encourage others to serve

by Rose L. Thayer
Stars and Stripes

Brig. Gen. Laura Yeager joined the Army with the same intentions as many: She needed money for college. She surprised herself with how much she loved the work — and now, 33 years later, she will be the first woman to command an Army infantry division.

“To me this is just my next assignment, but I understand it’s a milestone,” Yeager said Thursday during a phone interview from Joint Forces Training Base, Los Alamitos, Calif., where on June 29 she will take command of the California National Guard’s 40th Infantry Division.

“I’m hoping the novelty of the situation will fall away and we can focus on doing the work,” she said, noting she was also the first woman to hold her previous assignment as the commander of Joint Task Force North, U.S. Northern Command at Fort Bliss, Texas. In that instance, she said the noteworthiness of her leadership never really came up.

Despite Yeager’s preference to take command again without fanfare about her gender, she said she is taking the opportunity of the spotlight to share her story as a way to encourage men and women to join the military.

Read more at: https://www.stripes.com/1.585864

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