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Ohio’s first female infantry officer on COVID-19 front lines

By July 21, 2020 No Comments

By 1st Lt. Kevin Livingston, Ohio National Guard July 21, 2020

Ohio’s 1st female infantry officer on COVID-19 front lines

Second Lt. Colleen O’Callaghan, a platoon leader with the Ohio Army National Guard’s 1st Battalion, 148th Infantry Regiment, oversees her team June 9, 2020, at Second Harvest Food Bank of Clark, Champaign and Logan Counties in Springfield, Ohio. O’Callaghan, the Ohio National Guard’s first female Army infantry officer in its 232-year history, is among many Guard members who volunteered to serve their fellow Ohioans during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Spc. Max Elliott)

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio National Guard’s support during the COVID-19 pandemic has presented many firsts for the organization. It marks the first time since the Blizzard of 1978 that the Guard has responded to serve the state on such a large scale. The Guard’s overall COVID-19 response, known as Operation Steady Resolve, is the first time Ohio’s Army Guard, Air Guard, Naval Militia and Military Reserve have been activated under one joint task force.

Among the hundreds of Soldiers, Airmen and other personnel who have answered the call to serve on the front lines of the COVID-19 response is one who had already achieved a historic first of her own for the organization. Second Lt. Colleen O’Callaghan is the first woman in the Ohio National Guard’s 232-year history to become an Army infantry officer. With the integration of women into combat arms still in its infancy – the Department of Defense began allowing them to serve in direct combat units just over five years ago – O’Callaghan took a leap of faith to start her journey toward becoming an infantry officer.

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