Miss. National Guard’s largest unit welcomes first female battalion commander

Miss. National Guard’s largest unit welcomes first female battalion commander
Col. Jason Nelson, Commander, 155th Armored Brigade Combat Team, passes the 106th Support Battalion "colors" to Lt. Col. Annie Lee during a change of command ceremony at Camp Shelby, Mississippi, July 31, 2020. Lee becomes the first ever female battalion commander in the 155th ABCT. (Source: U.S. Army Photo by 2nd Lt. Michael Needham)

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WLBT) - The Mississippi National Guard’s largest unit (MSNG), the 155th Armored Brigade Combat Team (ABCT), welcomed its first female battalion commander on Friday.

Lt. Col. Annie Lee of Hattiesburg assumed command of the 106th Brigade Support Battalion from Lt. Col. William Walley of Brandon, during the Change of Command ceremony.

Lee becomes the first female battalion commander in the 155th ABCT since the brigade’s inception nearly 70 years ago. She has served in the Mississippi National Guard for 30 years, 13 of which she spent enlisted before earning her commission as an officer in 2003.

“I am excited and honored to be the first female to command the 106th BSB here in the state of Mississippi,” said Lee. “I am honored and privileged that the command team here in Mississippi chose me to command the 106th Brigade Support Battalion.”

“Lt. Col. Lee is poised to take this great organization to the next level,” said Col. Jason Nelson, 155th ABCT commander. “I have supreme confidence in her abilities and I know she will be successful.”

Lt. Col. Annie Lee, incoming commander of the 106th Brigade Support Battalion, shares remarks during a change of command ceremony at Camp Shelby, Mississippi, July 31, 2020.
Lt. Col. Annie Lee, incoming commander of the 106th Brigade Support Battalion, shares remarks during a change of command ceremony at Camp Shelby, Mississippi, July 31, 2020. (Source: U.S. Army Photo by 2nd Lt. Michael Needham)

Governor Tate Reeves also shared his congratulations via Twitter:

“Great to see MS women continuing to lead the way for future generations! Today, LTC Annie M. Lee took command of the 106th Brigade Support Battalion, becoming the 1st female officer to assume command of a battalion size element in the @nationalguardMS @155ABCT. Congrats, LTC Lee!”

The 155th Armored Brigade Combat Team is the largest unit in the Mississippi National Guard with approximately 4,000 Soldiers.

Copyright 2020 WLBT. All rights reserved.