WV Guard promotes first African-American Army female colonel

Col. Kim McGhee (center) is applauded by Maj. Gen. James Hoyer, Adjutant General of the West Virginia National Guard, during a formal promotion ceremony held May 20, 2019, at the Army National Guard Readiness Center in Arlington, Virginia. McGhee is the first African-American female to be promoted to the rank of colonel in the West Virginia Army National Guard. (Virginia Army National Guard/Released)
May 31, 2019

The West Virginia Army National Guard promoted its first African-American female colonel last week, Col. Kim McGhee, during a formal ceremony held at the Army National Guard Readiness Center in Arlington, Virginia.

Maj. Gen. James Hoyer, West Virginia adjutant general, presided over the ceremony.

“ Kim is an outstanding officer who embodies the core values of the Army and has made significant contributions in her field and in the West Virginia Army National Guard during her career,“ said Hoyer. “She is very deserving of the promotion and it further demonstrates that the West Virginia National Guard is an organization that provides opportunities for all who wish to serve the Nation, exceed the standards and live the Army and Air Force values.”

McGhee is a 24-year veteran of the West Virginia Army National Guard and a West Virginia native who currently serves as the National Guard Bureau division chief for command, control, communications and computers (C4) and cyber.

She has served at various levels within the WVARNG, including time as an enlisted service member while attending Marshall University. She commissioned in 2001 into the transportation corps and later served as a platoon leader for the 1257th Transportation Company in Pt. Pleasant, West Virginia, before transitioning full-time into human resources and the state family programs office.

Since 2006, McGhee has served at the National Guard Bureau in the communications directorate where she has held numerous positions including Joint Communications Officer, Director of the Joint C4 Coordination Center, IT Policy/Governance Officer, Web Services Branch Chief and as a legislative liaison.

“It was a great day for me and my family,” said McGhee. “I am honored and grateful for the opportunity to continue to serve this great nation and the State of West Virginia as a colonel in the United States Army and West Virginia National Guard.”

McGhee holds a bachelor’s degree in management and health care administration from Marshall University and has a master’s degree in information technology management from Touro University. She is also pursuing two additional master’s degrees in information systems securities and strategic studies from Mississippi State University and the United States Army War College, concurrently, with expected completion in 2020 and 2021.