Brig. Gen. Miyako Schanely, deputy commander of 412th Theater Engineer Command in Vicksburg, Miss., made history as the first female engineer in the Army Reserve and second in the Army to make general officer following her promotion ceremony at the 412th TEC headquarters in Vicksburg, Miss., Dec. 16, 2013.
It also made her only the second Japanese-American woman to reach the flag rank.
In an interview with Watertown Daily Times, the brigadier general hopes her career can serve as an example for younger soldiers, noting the engineer field has been populated mostly by men and as the military moves to expand opportunities for women.
We're seeing improvements in that across the board every year. She also talked about her military career as a reflection of her military heritage, a proud family tradition, going back to World War II.
Her mother, whose parents emigrated from Japan before her birth in Hawaii, and her father both served in the Air Force. Her stepfather, an Army warrant officer, performed counterintelligence work in the Pacific as the rest of his family was forced into an internment camp, reported Times.
"We're just incredibly proud of him and his whole generation that went through that. He wasn?'t the only one," she told her local newspaper.
Schanely currently resides in Black River and joins fellow New Yorkers, Brig. Gen. Douglas R.Satterfield, deputy commander, Col. Todd Arnold, chief of staff, and Command Sgt. Maj. Ronald Flubacher, senior enlisted advisor, as members of the 412th TEC command group.
The command group is led by Maj. Gen. William M. Buckler, Jr., the commanding general of 412th Theater Engineer Command. The 412th TEC is one of only two theater engineer commands in the Army,the other being the 416th in Darien, Illinois, where Schanely served as chief of staff prior to her current assignment with the 412th.
Schanely works for the State University of New York (SUNY) North Country Consortium, a partnership of six SUNY campuses that collaborate to bring a variety of undergraduate and graduate degree programs to Fort Drum and the Northern New York community. She and her husband reside in Black River and have two grown children, Michael and Teresa.
Brig. Gen. Schanely was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Engineers upon graduation from the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York in 1986.
Her assignments include seven and a half years of active duty. She served as Platoon Leader of Vertical and Horizontal Construction Platoons,as well as Company Executive Officer in the 94th Engineer Combat Battalion (Heavy) in Darmstadt,Germany, completing troop construction projects in Aschaffenburg, Darmstadt, and Rhein Main Air Force Base.
After completing the Engineer Officer Advanced Course, she served as Company
Commander, Battalion S1 and Battalion Assistant S3 in the 536th Engineer Combat Battalion (Heavy)at Fort Kobbe, Panama during humanitarian construction deployments to Honduras, Guyana,Uruguay, El Salvador, and the ?"interior" of Panama.
After transitioning to the US Army Reserve in 1993, she held several staff positions in the 98th Division (Institutional Training) and the 78th Division (Training Support). Command assignments have included the 2/313th Regiment (Logistical Support) of the 78th Division at Fort Drum during mobilizations
for Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom,the 6th Brigade (Professional Development) of the 98th Division in Syracuse, the 3rd Battle Command Training Group of 2/75th Division at Fort Dix, and Chief of Staff at 416th Theater Engineer Command.
As Support Division Chief for the Office of the Program Manager -- Facilities Security Forces in Riyadh, she oversaw essential administrative and logistical staff support functions to a new strategic partnership with the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Interior and Facilities Security Forces. Most recently, she serves as Chief of Staff of the 416th Theater Engineer Command and Deputy Commander of 412th Theater Engineer Command.
Brig. Gen. Schanely is a graduate of the Engineer Officer Basic and Advanced Courses, the Combined Arms and Services Staff School, the Army Command and General Staff College, the Army War College, and Advanced Joint Professional Military Education. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Engineering Management from the U.S. Military Academy,a Master of Business Administration from the University of Rochester, a Master of Strategic Studies from the United States Army War College, and a Master of Arts in Community Economic Development from Southern New Hampshire University. Her awards and decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal (with Silver Oak Leaf Cluster), the Army Commendation Medal (with Silver and Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters), the Army Achievement Medal, the Parachutist Badge, and the Jungle Expert Badge.