A career Quartermaster officer has assumed command of the 3rd Special Forces Group support battalion. And in a first for that role, the commander is a woman.
Lt. Col. Megan Brodgen took over at the Special Forces unit Friday morning in a ceremony at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, officials confirmed to Army Times.
The position is one of about two dozen within U.S. Army Special Operations Command that can be held by a non-Green Beret officer, but until now, a woman had never been chosen.
"A woman could have assumed command of any of these battalions prior to lifting the combat exemption," Capt. Christopher Webb, a 3rd Special Forces Group spokesman, told Army Times. "Now, a woman who is also a Green Beret (theoretically) could command any of the SF battalions."
The Army lifted restrictions on women serving in certain direct combat roles in early 2016, opening the door for women to earn the Special Forces tab and become members of the elite Green Berets.
However, women have been serving in support roles with USASOC units for years. Brogden, 38, is the first officer to break through to battalion command.
She earned her commission through ROTC in 2000, then spent time as a platoon leader for a support battalion in Korea before moving on to executive officer of Headquarters and Headquarters Company for the 82nd Airborne Division, where she deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq. She first commanded the 348th Quartermaster Company in Korea and moved on to staff jobs before earning her master's degree in national security and strategic studies from the U.S. Naval College this year.
Her awards and decorations three Bronze Stars, four Meritorious Service Medals, two Army Achievement Medals and the Combat Action Badge.
So far, the closest a woman has gotten to Special Forces came in mid-2016, when two female officers attempted the Special Forces Assessment Selection, the first step in the process to become a Green Beret. Neither woman made it through, and since then one more has attempted and failed, USASOC spokesman Lt. Col. Robert Bockholt told Army Times.