CHARLESTON, W.Va. — On Dec. 2, 2021, Col. Michaelle M. Munger was promoted to the rank of brigadier general, making her the first ever female in West Virginia history to become a general officer in the West Virginia Army National Guard.

Commissioned in 1994 through the Reserve Officer Training Corps, Munger has served 27-years in the U.S. Military encompassing various different roles such as active duty, U.S. Army Reserves, the Army National Guard, and the National Guard Bureau and at the Pentagon.

“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 Adjutant General of West Virginia, Maj. Gen. Bill Crane. “Soldiers know competent leaders when they see them, and Michaelle exudes competence, professionalism, integrity, and is one of the best communicators I have ever had the honor of serving with. She brings a wealth of knowledge, skill, and passion to her new rank and to our One Guard family, which will benefit our entire organization.”

Maj. Gen. Crane presided over the ceremony which was held at the Charleston WVNG headquarters.

Brig. Gen. Munger (right) takes the official oath of office, administered by Maj. Gen. William “Bil” Crane, Adjutant General (left).

“Today is an incredible day,” said Munger. “I am tremendously excited that Governor Justice and Maj. Gen. Crane have the confidence and faith in me to give me this opportunity. I feel blessed to be here. Attaining high rank in the military, whether as an officer or in the enlisted corps, requires hard and focused effort; it is a long-road and it not easy. But it is achievable for any Soldier or Airman and today proves that.”

Munger has found herself involved with the:

  • Associate Director: Office of the Deputy Secretary of Defense for Energy, Installations and Environment/Facilities Investment and Management.
  • Deputy Director: Real Property Maintenance, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Readiness, Programming and Resources.

Munger also served from 2017-2019 as “the director of joint operations for the WVNG and as the first female brigade commander for WVARNG at the 77th Brigade Troop Command.”

“My own method to success has been perseverance and self-reflection,” Munger said. “And I try to instill in every Soldier I work with to be the 4 Ps; Productive, Present, Prompt, Professional. I am super-excited for the talented, smart, bright, energetic younger crop of women now entering the military and the opportunities and doors that are continually opening to them. They inspire me, and hopefully, I inspire them too. But I want to be a role model for all Soldiers, not just females, that doing the right thing, growing where you are planted, and making the effort will allow you to succeed.”

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.

“Having a female voice at the table is critical in strengthening our National Guard,” Munger said. “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. 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.”