CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE BASRA, Iraq — The 308th Brigade Support Battalion, 17th Fires Brigade, in concert with Wmen's History Month, conducted the first ever female-to-female change of responsibility in the history of the 308th BSB March 10 on COB Basra. <br /> <br /> The historic ceremony marked the official transfer of Alpha Company first sergeant responsibility between the outgoing first sergeant, Jillana Malachi, and incoming first sergeant, Valanteen Skilang. <br /> <br /> "First Sgt. Malachi's tremendous impact during her 18 month tenure with Alpha Company is a significant reason why we were so successful back at Fort Lewis and have continued that success here on COB Basrah," said Capt. John Roy, A Co, 308th BSB, 17th FiB company commander.<br /> <br /> "I've enjoyed watching you grow as individuals and as a team," Malachi said. <br /> <br /> "I wish you all the best in life and I appreciate all the support you have given me and this command over the last 18 months," added the Sacramento, Calif., native.<br /> <br /> Up next for Malachi is a year of study at the U.S. Army Sergeants' Major Academy in preparation for an eventual assignment as a sergeant major, the highest onlisted rank possible for Soldiers in the U.S. Army.<br /> <br /> As ceremonial guest speaker, 308th BSB Command Sgt. Maj. Wendell Jordan commented on the history of the unit as well as the significance of the event. <br /> <br /> "Numerous historic battlefield events are embedded within the history of the storied 17th Fires Brigade and its subordinate units," Jordan said. <br /> <br /> "The change of responsibility between two hard-charging female first sergeants during combat operations is a momentous achievement for women in the Thunderbolt Brigade. This represents the tremendous achievements that women have made in our Army and society in general," he added.<br /> <br /> The 308th BSB served in multiple European campaigns during World War II but at that time, female soldiers weren't allowed to serve in combat organizations. <br /> <br /> Due to the pioneering efforts of all women and specifically those serving in the United States Military, the sight of women in critical leadership roles in Iraq has become commonplace.