FORT LEONARD WOOD ( - Major General Donna Martin was promoted to U.S. Army Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and Fort Leonard Wood’s Commanding General Tuesday morning.

She is the first woman to hold the title since the post has been in operation for nearly 80 years.

“I think I have this philosophy that the Army is the great equalizer. It doesn’t really matter that you’re a woman, the Army will choose the right person or the right job at the right time and I’m just so thankful and very thankful that I am that person,” said MG Martin.

MG Martin was awarded her second star at a small ceremony before she was promoted to Commanding General in front of thousands of soldiers.

“I don’t consider myself a trailblazer, but I do want young women to look at me and say anything is possible," said MG Martin. "I think if you work hard and really believe in yourself I think you can achieve anything you set your mind to," she added.

Martin is a graduate of Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. She assumed her most recent position as Chief of Military Police Corps at Fort Leonard Wood in July 2017.

She credits being exposed to the military while in college participating in Reserve Officers’ Training Corp (ROTC).

“When I went to college I needed to find those people who were kind of like me and I found a group of kids who were service oriented who wanted to serve and be a part of something that was bigger than themselves,” said MG Martin.

In her new role, she is overseeing the more than 80,000 members of the military, civilians and retirees who train at Fort Leonard Wood every year.

She encourages others interested in getting experience on the job to look at the hundreds of career options the Army has to offer.

“The difference for young kids today is even when you’re graduating from college you may not walk straight into a job because you may not have any experience. The military provides that experience,” said MG Martin.

The outgoing Commanding General Major General Kent Savre took command of the post in April 2015 and is retiring after 34 years of service.

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