FORT KNOX, Ky. -- During a ceremony at Waybur Theater here last Thursday Brig. Gen. Peggy C. Combs --

Became the 11th commanding general of U.S. Army Cadet Command;

Became the 85th commanding general of Fort Knox; and

Became the first female commander in the history of each.

Combs returns to Fort Knox from Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., where she most recently served as the 27th Chief of Chemical and the commandant of the U.S. Army Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear School. She was the deputy commander of Cadet Command from July 2011 to September 2012.

Combs was commissioned a regular Army second lieutenant through the Reserve Officers?' Training Corps (ROTC) program at Syracuse University in May 1985, where she was a distinguished military graduate. Throughout her 28 year service tenure, Combs has served in a variety of leadership and staff positions at the tactical, operational and strategic levels.

Tactical assignments include staff officer and command positions at the battalion, brigade and division level, at Fort Hood, Texas; Schofield Barracks, Hawaii; and Fort Stewart, Ga.; and Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. Combs served at the joint operational level as the Joint Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Operations Officer during Operation Enduring Freedom, for the United States Central Command (CENTCOM), MacDill AFB, Florida, and as the chief of staff for the Iraq Training and Advisory Mission, United States Forces-Iraq, Baghdad, Iraq. Strategic level assignments include duty at the National Ground Intelligence Center in Charlottesville, Va. and as the chief, Full Dimension Protection Division, DCS G8, U.S. Army Pentagon, Washington, D.C.

Combs succeeds Maj. Gen. Jefforey A. Smith, who will become the deputy chief of staff for operations at the International Security Assistance Force, Afghanistan.

A native of Oriskany, N.Y., Combs is a 1981 graduate of Oriskany High School.