First woman becomes Army provost marshal general
January 15, 2010
FORT BELVOIR, Va. (Army News Service, Jan. 15, 2010) -- Brig. Gen. Colleen L. McGuire assumed responsibility as the first woman provost marshal general of the Army and also took command of the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command in a ceremony Thursday at Fort Belvoir.
McGuire succeeds Brig. Gen. Rodney L. Johnson, who is retiring after 33 years of service. She assumes the Army's top law-enforcement position after serving since March as head of the Army Suicide Prevention Task Force.
McGuire is the 10th commander of CID since it was first established as a major command Sept. 17, 1971, and the 13th provost marshal general of the Army since 1941. She is the first woman in both positions.
Vice Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Peter W. Chiarelli hosted the ceremony at Well's Field House on Fort Belvoir and during his remarks noted how the Army's military law-enforcement team contributes to the Army mission, in theater and worldwide.
"You [Army law enforcement] should be incredibly proud of all that you have accomplished on behalf of your Army and our Nation," Chiarelli said. "You have a significant and lasting impact. However, much work remains to be done. And, I absolutely believe Brigadier General Colleen McGuire is the right person to lead you in the challenging days ahead. She is a proven, gifted leader - both in garrison and combat."
McGuire most recently served for about two years as the director, Senior Leader Development Office, Office of the Chief of Staff, Army, while also leading the Army Suicide Prevention Task Force established 10 months ago. She assumes command of CID as the organization enters its 39th year as the Army's premier investigative agency for felony-level crime.
"I am honored to be given this privilege to command and lead," McGuire said. "The greatest honor for any Solider is to command the sons and daughters of America. It is a particular honor for me, a military police officer, to command at this level in a time of war."
Following the change-of-command ceremony, McGuire took the oath to assume responsibilities as the Army's provost marshal general. The position was first established in 1776 during the Revolutionary War, but was abolished after the war. During its long history, it was usually established during major combat, but discontinued shortly after the conflict was over.
In line with history, the secretary of the Army at the time, Thomas White, approved the re-establishment of the office, effective Sept. 26, 2003, during the Global War on Terrorism.
McGuire concluded her comments with a reminder to all that the work of the Army's law-enforcement team is never done.
"We are truly an expeditionary force," she said. "Our military police, criminal investigators, corrections experts, civilian police and support team need to maintain their edge under conditions of uncertainty and change regardless of the operational environment. To do that, we need to be, and will remain grounded and pure in our doctrine, our organizations, our training and our operations."
McGuire is a 1979 graduate of the University of Montana where she was commissioned in the Military Police Corps. During nearly 30 years of active service, she has been assigned in key command and staff billets from platoon level to the Army staff. Her initial assignment was to Germany where she served as a platoon leader, company executive officer, and battalion logistics offiver with the 709th Military Police Battalion.
In March 1989 she began her first of multiple tours in the Washington, D.C. area when she was assigned as a staff officer in the Office of the Chief of Public Affairs, Pentagon, and later, as the Battalion operations officer, Law Enforcement Battalion, Fort Belvoir.
In 1998, McGuire assumed command of the 705th Military Police Battalion, Fort Leavenworth, Kan. Following battalion command and senior service college, she returned in 2002 to Fort Leavenworth and served as brigade commander at the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks, followed by a tour as the assistant commandant, U.S. Army Military Police School.
Following her tour at the Military Police School, McGuire served an 18-month deployment as the provost marshal of Multi-National Corps-Iraq. Her most recent tour in Washington began with service as the chief, Colonels Management Office, Senior Leader Development, Office of the Chief of Staff, Army.
McGuire's deployment experience also includes service as the public affairs officer for Joint Task Force-Somalia.
McGuire is a graduate of the Military Police Officer Basic and Advanced Courses, the Command and General Staff College, the Public Affairs Officer Course, and the Army War College. She holds a master's degree in Military Arts and Science from the Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kan., and a master's degree in Strategic Studies from the Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Pa.
McGuire's awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit with two oak-leaf clusters, the Bronze Star Medal, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal with four oak-leaf clusters, the Joint Service Commendation Medal, the Army Commendation Medal with three oak-leaf clusters, the Army Achievement Medal with three oak-leaf clusters, the Iraqi Campaign Medal, the Senior Parachutist's Badge and the Army Staff Identification Badge.