Army Reserve in Pacific gets first female leader


POSTED: Friday, May 15, 2009

The Army Reserve in the Pacific will get its first female leader: Brig. Gen. Michele Gillen Compton, who has been a reservist for more than two decades.

She will replace Brig. Gen. Alex Kozlov, who has headed the 9th Mission Support Command since 2007.

Compton follows Army Reserve Brig. Gen. Coral Wong Pietsch, who became the first Asian/Pacific-American female general and first female chief judge in the Army Judge Advocate General Corps in 2000.

Also selected for promotion by the Pentagon was Army Reserve Col. Jon D. Lee, who has been nominated for his first star as a brigadier general and is assigned to be the deputy commanding general of the 63rd Regional Support Command at Moffett Field, Calif.

Compton was commissioned 24 years ago through the Army ROTC program at Virginia Polytechnic Institute, joined the Army Reserve in 1988 and was assigned to the 108th Training Exercise and Maneuver Group at Fort DeRussy in 1992.

Compton, who lists her civilian occupation as freelance photojournalist on her official Army biography, was off island attending a training session yesterday, the Army Reserve reported.

Brig. Gen. John Ma, who commanded the 9th Mission Support Command from 2002-2006, has known Compton since she joined the Army Reserve. He said she “;has a lot of experience and has a lot of background on what we do.”;

Her biography lists various military intelligence assignments while on active duty from 1984-1988 in Germany and Texas.

She has held numerous jobs at U.S. Pacific Command and was promoted to brigadier general last year and given the job of assistant chief of staff at 8th Army at Yongsan, South Korea.

She is married to Mike Compton, a Hawaiian Airlines pilot who also is a colonel in the Hawaii Air National Guard.

Lee, a 1980 Saint Louis School graduate, has been working for the Army Reserve since 1984 and is currently a deputy for management and support for the 9th Mission Support Command at Fort Shafter. He also serves as Kozlov's chief of staff—a drill-time position he will have to give up to become the deputy commanding general at Moffett Field.

Lee said his new drill-status job will be “;a little more complex”; since the 63rd Regional Support Command is responsible for 40,000 Army Reserve soldiers in seven states: California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas.

The 9th Mission Support Command, with its headquarters at Fort Shafter, covers only two states, Hawaii and Alaska, and Guam and American Samoa, with 3,500 reserve soldiers. There are 24 units in the command, and one of them is the only infantry unit in the Army Reserve, the 100th Battalion/442nd Infantry.

Lee worked for 10 years with his father, Randy Lee, when his family owned the Willows restaurant in Moiliili. He went to work for the Army Reserve in 1994. He commanded the 100th Battalion from 1999-2002 and was mobilized in 2003 and served as chief of operations for Combined Task Force 7, which helped plan the invasion of Iraq.