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Brig. Gen. Sheryl Gordon returns home to talk about teaching and her promotion

Brig. Gen. Sheryl Gordon said there are far less “dinosaurs” left, referring to male soldiers who resist women in the military.

She is living proof times are changing. Gordon spoke at a Delta Kappa Gamma meeting at the Fellowship Hall of Church Street United Methodist Church on Thursday.

She said she faced some challenges on her way to becoming the first female brigadier general in the Alabama Army National Guard.

But she had plenty of preparation by juggling that job with her other profession of teaching. Listening to her speak, it was hard to tell which she was proudest of — training soldiers for battle or training students for life.

“I’m just excited to be a general, regardless of being a female or not,” Gordon said. “We only have seven of us in the Alabama Army National Guard.”

The Alabama National Guard made history Sunday with the Change of Command ceremony for the 62nd Troop Command at Fort Taylor Hardin.

Gordon, a native of Selma, took over command of one of the largest major commands in the state from Brig. Gen. Fred Johnson.

‘The troop is in good hands,” Johnson said. “I couldn’t imagine handing the troop over to anyone else.”

Gordon first met her husband Dave Gordon at the fort where she will take over command as a brigadier general.

“We are so proud for Sheryl to receive this honor,” Dave said. “It’s part of what you work for and very few receive. To be recognized by your commanding officers is so special.”

Gordon’s brother, retired Brig. Gen. Frank Speed, said he knows his sister has what it takes to be a good leader for the command.

“There is no doubt in my mind that she will do well,” Speed said. “She will get a tremendous amount of support from her troops. They will make sure she is successful.”

Among Gordon’s career highlights was a stint as both a teacher and an administrator at Benjamin Russell High School in Alexander City.

Previously, Gordon had served as garrison commander of the Fort McClellan Army National Guard training center as well as serving assignments at various units in Montgomery, Jasper, Selma, Tallassee and Birmingham.

Gordon praised members of Delta Kappa Gamma, a professional honor society of female teachers, as well as single mothers and all career women.

The way she sees it, she isn’t doing anything women haven’t done since the beginning of time.

“I would recommend this to anyone.”