HOME : MYRTLE CREEK, OR
Plaque : Wall 7, Row C, Col 7
On June 3, in a small ceremony attended by family, friends, and supporters, Douglas County native Megan Brodgen was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Although she could have held the ceremony at her unit, the Joint Special Operations Command at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, Megan decided to have the ceremony at home. Over the past sixteen years, Ive missed weddings, births, so many things, explained Megan. I wanted to spend this special time at home. It was a way for me to thank my family, friends, and everyone else who have supported me through the years. The ceremony was emceed by Megan’s father, Roy Brogden. Drafted in 1963, Roy started as a private in the combat engineers, then switched to the Army Reserves and worked his way up to the rank of Command Sergeant Major in charge of a regional leadership school. But when asked about himself, Roy quickly deflects the conversation to Megan. She was a straight-A student and three-sport athlete in high school, said Roy. She saw me in the Reserves, but what really committed her was the recruiter and ROTC scholarship. As an ROTC cadet, Megan excelled. She attended Airborne School her sophomore year – she was honor graduate, reminded Roy – joined the Ranger Challenge, and was selected for a prestigious cadet leadership program that took her to Europe. After graduation, Megan received her commission and started her military career. Tradition holds that when a new officer receives her commission, she chooses a noncommissioned officer to render the first salute. The new officer then gives a silver dollar to the noncommissioned officer. The tradition dates back to before the founding of the country. My father was my first salute when I commissioned, said Megan. He managed to squeeze into his uniform. Megan selected Quartermaster for her military career. After training at Fort Lee, Virginia, she asked for and received Korea as her first assignment. Camp Casey, near the demilitarized zone separating North from South Korea. This was before 9/11, said Megan. Korea was the place you could learn the most, since it was the closest to being deployed. Im happy I did that, because it was there that I really learned how to be a soldier, and grew as a leader. After Korea, Megan had her choice of assignments – she chose Fort Bragg and the 82nd Airborne Division. She served for a short time in a forward support battalion but, when senior officers recognized her leadership potential, was made executive officer (XO) of the divisions headquarters company. It’s a unique experience when youre a lieutenant and everyone outranks you, said Megan. But everyone was great to work with, and supported me as XO. By the end of the next year I was deployed to Afghanistan. It was late 2002 when Megan, forward commander for the company headquarters, arrived with her unit to replace the 10th Mountain Division at Bagram, Afghanistan. When she returned to the United States, the rest of the division was preparing to deploy to Iraq for the invasion. A few months after the unit returned, Megan and the rest of the unit deployed to Ramadi, Iraq, where she stayed for the next six months. We talked a lot at home when Megan deployed, said Roy. We turned it over to the Lord. We used to do convoys. Thankfully, we only got hit one time, said Megan. One of my soldiers was hurt by a boulder coming up from the ground. We were very fortunate, because at that time we were still driving soft-skinned vehicles. In sixteen years, Megan has only seriously considered leaving the Army once. After graduating a career course, she was assigned again to Korea. Id been to Korea, Afghanistan, and Iraq, and now being sent back to Korea, said Megan. I was ready to be in the states, closer to my family. But I interviewed for a company commander position, and got it. Wound up staying in Korea for eighteen months. Afterwards, Megans career took off. She served as an Aide de Camp, and was selected for promotion to major before her peers. A general she worked for flew out to her promotion ceremony, said Roy. It was quite an honor. Megan deployed to Afghanistan, again, then attended the United States Naval War College where she earned her masters degree in national security and strategic studies. With the promotion to Lieutenant Colonel, Megan looks forward to bigger responsibilities, and bigger challenges. Her next assignment will be as the commander of the 3rd Group Support Battalion, of the 3rd Special Forces Group. But no matter how difficult her new responsibilities may be, she knows theres at least one person she can always count on. I cant wait to fly out and attend the ceremony when she takes command of the unit, said Roy.
BRONZE STAR MEDAL 3RD. DEFENSE MERITORIOUS SERVICE MEDAL, MERITORIOUS SERVICE MEDAL,4TH., ARMY COMMENDATION MEDAL,2ND. JOINT SERVICE ACHIEVEMENT MEDAL 2ND., ARMY ACHIEVEMENT MEDAL 2ND. JOINT MERITORIOUS UNIT ACHIEVEMENT MEDAL, NATIONAL DEFENSE SERVICE MEDAL, AFGHANISTAN CAMPAIGN MEDAL 2ND., IRAQ CAMPAIGN MEDAL, GLOBAL WAR ON TERRORISM EXPEDITIONARY, GLOBAL WAR ON TERRORISM SERVICE MEDAL, KOREAN DEFENSE SERVICE MEDAL, ARMY SERVICE RIBBON, OVERSEAS SERVICE RIBBON 4, NATO MEDAL, COMBAT ACTION BADGE, PARACHUTE RIGGER BADGE, PARACHUTIST BADGE
Theatre of Operation