MSNG largest unit introduces first female commander

MSNG largest unit introduces first female commander

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - The 155th Armored Brigade Combat Team welcomed its first female battalion commander during a change of command ceremony Friday.

The ceremony was held at the Camp Shelby Joint Forces Training Center in Hattiesburg.

Lt. Col. Annie Lee, of Hattiesburg, is taking up command of the 106th Brigade Support Battalion, headquartered in Hattiesburg, from Lt. Col. William Wally, of Brandon, during the ceremony.

“I am honored and privileged that the command team here in Mississippi chose me to command the 106th Brigade Support Battalion,” said Lee. “I know I have some big shoes to fill, but I am up to the challenge.”

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. Lee becomes the first-ever female battalion commander in the 155th ABCT.
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. Lee becomes the first-ever female battalion commander in the 155th ABCT. (Source: 2nd Lt. Michael Needham)

The 106th BSB is one of seven battalions that make up the 155th Armored Brigade Combat Team that is headquartered in Tupelo.

Hattiesburg’s unit has approximately 400 soldiers, making it Mississippi National Guard’s largest unit, and it provides logistics, maintenance and medical support for those soldiers.

“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.”

Lee is now the first female battalion commander in the 155th ABCT since its inception almost 70 years ago. She served in the Mississippi National Guard for 30 years, with 13 of those years enlisted before earning her commission as an officer in 2003.

Lt. Col. Annie Lee holds the 106th Support Battalion "colors" as the incoming battalion commander 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.
Lt. Col. Annie Lee holds the 106th Support Battalion "colors" as the incoming battalion commander 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: 2nd Lt. Michael Needham)

Lee is taking up command from Walley, who led the 106th BSB during their recent deployment to Kuwait in support of Operation Spartan Shield.

It was an honor and a privilege to command a great organization such as the 106th BSB. The Soldiers are committed to mission accomplishment as evident in the unit’s success during our recent deployment to Kuwait during Operation Spartan Shield,” said Walley. “I want to say thank you to the Soldiers for their support and I look forward to their future success at NTC (National Training Center) in 2021 and beyond.”

Lt. Col. William Walley, outgoing 106th Brigade Support Battalion commander, is awarded the Meritorious Service Medal by Col. Jason Nelson, 155th Armored Brigade Combat Team commander, during a change of command ceremony at Camp Shelby, Mississippi, July 31, 2020. Walley has commanded the 106 BSB since October of 2017 to include a deployment to the Middle East in support of Operation Spartan Shield.
Lt. Col. William Walley, outgoing 106th Brigade Support Battalion commander, is awarded the Meritorious Service Medal by Col. Jason Nelson, 155th Armored Brigade Combat Team commander, during a change of command ceremony at Camp Shelby, Mississippi, July 31, 2020. Walley has commanded the 106 BSB since October of 2017 to include a deployment to the Middle East in support of Operation Spartan Shield. (Source: 2nd Lt. Michael Needham)

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