|Female General Makes History|
Female General Makes History
By Lt. Col. Randy Pullen, Army News Service.
Washington D.C. -- (ANS) July 26, 2001 -- Army Reserve Brig. Gen. Coral Wong Pietsch achieved two notable firsts with her promotion July 20 at the Pentagon.
She became the first Asian-Pacific American female to be selected for general and the first female in the Army Judge Advocate General Corps.
In uniform, Pietsch is the chief judge (Individual Mobilization Augmentee) for the U.S. Army Legal Services Agency in Falls Church, Va. As a civilian she is the senior attorney and chief of the Civil Law Division, Office of the Staff Judge Advocate, Headquarters, U.S. Army Pacific.
Pietsch supervises a staff of attorneys whose areas of expertise include administrative law, contract, environmental law, ethics, fiscal law, operational law and personnel and labor law. She commutes from Hawaii to Virginia to serve as an IMA. It is not uncommon for Army Reserve soldiers to travel long distances to serve in units.
Pietsch was selected for general for two simple reasons according to Maj. Gen. Walter B. Huffman, the Army's Judge Advocate General.
"Coral is a great lawyer and a great soldier," Huffman said. "That's why she is here today."
Huffman said that Pietsch has had more assignments as a command staff judge advocate than almost any other officer in the Army. One of her distinctions is being recalled to active duty from the Army Reserve to become staff judge advocate for one of the Army's major commands, U.S. Army Pacific, in 1996.
Huffman said that a situation occurred in February of 1996 when the active Army staff judge advocate departed and there was no replacement available to take his place.
"The active Army did what the active Army always does in a crisis -- it calls on the Army Reserve," Huffman said.
The Army Reserve in this case was Col. Coral Pietsch of the 9th Army Reserve Command, who came on active duty as the U.S. Army Pacific staff judge advocate for six months, from February to August 1996.
Pietsch has more than 26 years of active and Army Reserve service. Her previous assignments have included Eighth U.S. Army, Korea, and Fort Shafer, Hawaii.
After leaving active duty in 1980, Pietsch joined the Army Reserve, and held several law positions at Fort DeRussy, Hawaii.
After her second release from active duty in August 1996, she served at the staff judge advocate for the Pacific Area Liaison Command, Fort Shafter, and then as the staff judge advocate for the 9th Regional Support Command, Fort Shafter.
Pietsch has had a great deal of experience as a civilian attorney, too. After leaving active duty in 1980, she worked as a deputy attorney general for the State of Hawaii for six years, then became a civilian attorney for U.S. Army Pacific at Fort Shafter.
Pietsch is a member of the Commander-in-Chief's Environmental Roundtable, the U.S. Army Pacific Affirmative Action Panel, the U.S. Army Pacific Community of Excellence Team and the U.S. Army Pacific Command Career Development Forum.
She was selected for the Defense Department Leadership and Management Program and is also an active arbitrator for the State Certified Arbitration Program that hears cases involving disputes of the Hawaii Motor Vehicle Express Warranty Law.
Her military education includes the Judge Advocate General School's Basic and Advanced Courses, the Command and General Staff College and the Army War College. She received a bachelor's degree from the College of St. Teresa, a master's degree from Marquette University and her law degree from the Catholic University of America.
Her awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit, two Meritorious Service Medals, the Joint Services Commendation Medal, three Army Commendation Medals and two Army Achievement Medals.
(Editor's note: Randy Pullen is a member of the Public Affairs and Liaison Directorate, Office of the Chief, Army Reserve.)