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    Meet the First Black Woman to Lead a Disaster Response Task Force Based at Fort Eustis

    Meet the First Black Woman to Lead a Disaster Response Task Force Based at Fort Eustis

    Col. Tanya McGonegal was 25 when she experienced the first “only” in her career. She was the sole woman in the June 1999 graduating class at Virginia State Officer Candidate School.

    The graduation set the tone for McGonegal's 25-year career with the Army National Guard, where she continues paving the way for future generations of military leaders.

    “I don't wake up in the morning and think, ‘I am going to inspire people to do more and be more,'” McGonegal said with a laugh. “But I am very interested in challenging myself to do more and be more, and if that's an inspiration to others to do the same — in a way that is kind and professional — that is a plus.”

    McGonegal has formally been recognized twice as being the first Black woman to lead a unit, most recently in a historic change of command ceremony Feb. 9 for the U.S. Northern Command's Task Force-Civil Support in Newport News. The joint task force, based at Eustis, is responsible for civil support and mission leadership during disasters.

    At the Fort Eustis-based federal command, McGonegal is responsible for leading about 160 members on a daily basis. If a crisis occurs, McGonegal could be responsible for coordinating a force of 5,200 who stand ready to deploy within 24-96 hours of notice for any natural or manmade disaster.

    “When you take command of a unit, as a leader, your first priority is the organization and the service…

    Continue Reading This Article At Military.com

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