Conflict & Justice

What Veterans Day means for a two-star Army Reserve major general

Major General Tatu in parade.jpg

Credit: 79th Sustainment Support Command

Maj. Gen. Megan P. Tatu, commanding general of the 79th Sustainment Support Command (center left), walks alongside Loretta Sanchez, Congresswoman, California 46th Congressional District, in the Fullerton Veteran’s Day Parade, Fullerton, Calif., Nov. 11.

Major General Megan Tatu doesn't have a normal job. As one of the highest ranking women in the US Army Reserve, she's responsible for commanding and controlling more than 20,000 sustainment soldiers across 19 states.

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(This story is based on a radio interview. Listen to the full interview.)

Major General Megan Tatu.
Credit: US Army

Major General Megan Tatu

During the Cold War, she was the first woman in an air defense battalion in West Germany, and in 2006 and 2007, she commanded a corps support group of over 20,000 soldiers at Joint Base Balad in Iraq. Her awards and decorations include two Legion of Merit Medals, the Bronze Star Medal, five Meritorious Service Medals, and two Army Commendation Medals, among others. 

If anyone deserves recognition for a life of service, it's Major General Tatu. But even on Veteran's Day, the two-star major general insists that she and others in the military "don't serve for the recognition."   

"In the Army, one of our core values is selfless service, which by it's very nature makes it hard for many veterans to accept a thank you."

Major General Tatu added that she finds herself incredibly grateful for "the fact that we have men and women who voluntarily take that step to obligate themselves to support and defend the Constitution of the United States. I have great admiration for [them]."  

When asked about her own Veteran's Day traditions, she mentions her grandfather, who served in World War I and passed away when she was young.

"I still have his service medal and I always pull it out on this day, and think about the sacrifices he made."

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