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    McHugh is Pa. National Guard’s newest general

    Deputy adjutant general - Army promoted to brigadier general

    Photo By Lt. Col. Keith Hickox | With the help of her family, Brig. Gen. Laura McHugh, deputy adjutant general - Army,...... read more read more



    Story by Brad Rhen 

    Joint Force Headquarters - Pennsylvania National Guard

    FORT INDIANTOWN GAP, Pa. – Brig. Gen. Laura McHugh was promoted to her current rank during a ceremony here Nov. 6, becoming the third female general officer in Pennsylvania National Guard history.

    McHugh currently serves as deputy adjutant general - Army, Pennsylvania National Guard. As such, she serves as the primary adviser to the adjutant general on all matters pertaining to Army operations and as the commander of the Pennsylvania Army National Guard. She is responsible for the overall operational readiness for over 13,500 assigned members and for ensuring that they are trained and equipped to successfully accomplish their federal and state missions.

    Prior to assuming her role as DAG - Army in April, McHugh served as chief of staff - Army.

    Pennsylvania Adjutant General Maj. Gen. Mark Schindler, who spoke at the ceremony, called McHugh one of Pennsylvania’s finest officers.

    “Laura is more than just competent in the assignments that she takes,” Schindler said. “You can put a lot of officers, you can put a lot of people into a lot of different positions, and they’ll do just fine, but Laura does more than just fine. Her work ethic – coming in early, staying late – not just to do so, not just because, but because work needs done and because she’s going to give you her best effort every single time without fail.”

    Military accomplishments aside, Schindler said McHugh is an outstanding person, an outstanding wife, an outstanding mother and an outstanding mentor.

    “I’m very lucky to have you on my team, and the Pennsylvania National Guard is very lucky to have you serve as deputy adjutant general,” Schindler said.

    McHugh said she is very humbled to be in the position she’s in.

    “The two words I can think of are humility and grace,” she said. “To get to this level it’s absolutely a ton of support over the years, and that came from a number of places: support from family and support from senior leader who think enough of you to put you in a position of great responsibility and friends of mine who know very little about the military but are great supporters. It’s quite an honor to get to this level, but you don’t get to this level by yourself.”

    A native of Pottsville, Pa., McHugh enlisted in the Pennsylvania Army National Guard in February 1986 as a supply specialist. She was commissioned in 1991 through the ROTC program at Scranton University, which she attended while attending college at nearby King’s College, which doesn’t have an ROTC program.

    Throughout her career, McHugh has held numerous command and staff positions, including commander of the 213th Regional Support Group, commander of the Pennsylvania Army National Guard Recruiting and Retention Command and commander of the 131st Transportation Company.

    She said her stint as commander of the 131st Transportation Co. in Williamstown, Pa., from September 1999 to March 2004 was among her most memorable assignments. During her time as commander, the company deployed to Iraq and Kuwait for Operation Iraqi Freedom.

    “It’s kind of neat to see some of the younger folks who were privates and specialists back then who are now grown up and doing great things,” she said. “One of them is a first sergeant of a company, and another one is CW3 and is a pilot.”

    McHugh joins Maj. Gen. Jessica Wright and Brig. Gen. Carol Eggert as the only female Pennsylvania National Guard members to be promoted to general while in uniform. However, McHugh said the fact that she’s the third female general in the PNG’s history is not very significant to her, personally.

    “None of us want to be referred to as a ‘female Soldier,’” she said. “You just want to be called a Soldier. But I understand the impact my promotion could have on other females who may thought they could never get to this rank. So it’s not about me, personally. The promotion is about maybe the inspiration or the hope or the confidence that other women know that they can become a general.”



    Date Taken: 11.09.2021
    Date Posted: 11.09.2021 11:54
    Story ID: 408986
    Hometown: PINE GROVE, PA, US
    Hometown: POTTSVILLE, PA, US

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