A First – Woman Takes Command of Special Forces Battalion


By Debbie Gregory.

Lt. Colonel Megan A. Brogden has made history. She is the first female commander of a Special Forces battalion in the history of the U.S. Army.

Lt. Colonel Brogden assumed the command of the Group Support Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group.

The Group Support Battalion has an amazing reputation.  It is the largest and most diverse of five battalions within the 3rd Special Forces Group.  They are charged with supporting Special Forces teams deployed to remote environments in Africa and the Middle East

She was chosen for the position based on her leadership skills, her long history of supporting and leading special operations soldiers and maintaining the force.  She was not chosen because she was a woman.

Over the next two years, Lt. Colonel Brogden will work to build on the excellent reputation of the Group Support Battalion, and endeavor to innovate in order to better support soldiers and their missions.

Within the Group Support Battalion, women have served in civil affairs, as psychological operations soldiers and in cultural support teams with Army Rangers as part of the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment.

The role of women in Special Operations is constantly changing.  They are filling more leadership roles.  U.S. Special Operations Command (USASOC) continues to integrate women into new roles.

Lt. Colonel Brogden took command from Lt. Colonel Chris Panoe.  Lt. Colonel Panoe led the Group Support Battalion known as “the Nomads” for two years. Lt. Colonel Paone praised Brogden and characterized her as a team builder.

On any day, the Group Support Battalion has soldiers deployed to approximately twelve countries in North and West Africa as well as soldiers in Afghanistan that work along our partners there.

This battalion was formed more than ten years ago, and has over 400 soldiers assigned within more than thirty-five occupational specialties, and nine officer branches.   Some of the services they provide include  communications, electronics support, military intelligence, food service, chemical recon, supply and services, transportation, maintenance, water purification, parachute rigging, unmanned aerial recon and contracting support.

Lt. Colonel Brogden served two tours with a Joint Special Operations Task Force in Afghanistan and Kuwait. She advised female officers to challenge themselves and take the tough jobs that will develop their leadership skills.

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