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Minnesota National Guard
Kallberg assumes responsibility as first female Senior Enlisted Advisor

History was made in the Minnesota National Guard, as the first female Senior Enlisted Advisor was selected Command Sgt Maj Cynthia A Kallberg accepted responsibility from Command Sgt Maj Scott Mills on Dec 3, 2011 at a Change of Responsibility Ceremony at the Cedar Street Armory in St Paul, Minn

Today, females make up approximately 14 percent of the US military It's becoming more and more common to see women in top leadership roles It hasn't always been that way though In 1970, the military only contained 14 percent women

Brig Gen Wilma Vaught, who received her commission as a 2nd Lt in 1957, recalls her experience starting out in the military

"When I came into the Air Force, I couldn't hope to be a general because the law said women couldn't be generals," Vaught said "We had training on how to sit, how to put on makeup We had to learn how to be charming and attractive"

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The military had changed quite a bit when Kallberg enlisted in 1984, but she still recalls a lack of female mentors

"I know coming up the ranks for me, there were not a lot of female mentors," said Kallberg "I think that it's important that there are females in place to mentor those coming up the ranks"

Although, Kallberg expresses the importance of female mentors in the military, she doesn't feel that her being a female defines her

"I'm looking at the position through the eyes of a Soldier," said Kallberg "So I don't think the fact that I'm a female is going to change policies or procedures" Kallberg is a mother, grandmother and veteran with more than 26 years of experience

"Sgt Maj Kallberg has more than 26 years of experience with two deployments," said Minnesota Adjutant General Maj. Gen. Richard Nash  "She worked for me during the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division deployment to Iraq and I have full confidence in her ability to lead the nearly 14,000 Citizen-Soldiers and -Airmen of our organization"

As the senior enlisted advisor, Kallberg is responsible for managing the military aspects of all full-time and traditional National Guard members, said Army Lt. Col. Kevin A Olson, director of Public Affairs, Minnesota National Guard  She serves as the primary advisor and spokesperson regarding issues related to the analysis and enforcement of established policies and standards for enlisted personnel  Her oversight has particular emphasis on readiness, morale, welfare, discipline, performance, training, awards and recognition, recruiting, equal opportunity, promotion, assignment, reassignment and administrative needs

Outgoing State Command Sgt Major Mills handed responsibility to Kallberg with full confidence in her abilities as a leader

"Today you gain responsibility for the most competent and professional group of Soldiers and Airmen," said Mills "They will serve you well Just have faith There's no doubt in my mind you'll lead them with success"

Story and photos by Sgt Dajon N Ferrell
Minnesota National Guard Public Affairs
3 Dec, 2011

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