Butterfield hails Wilson resident's Army Promotion
May 24, 2010
Washington, D.C. - Congressman G. K. Butterfield applauded the promotion of a Wilson, N.C. native to "full bird Colonel" at a Pentagon May 4th ceremony.
Army Lt. Col. Mechelle B. Hale, a 1988 graduate of Elizabeth City State University (ECSU), was promoted to the rank of Colonel during a ceremony with Joint Chief of Staff Director Lt. Gen. Lloyd Austin. Hale currently serves as the Chief of the Installation Plans Branch for the Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff Installation Management Command in Washington, D.C. Her awards include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with Silver Oak Leaf, Army Commendation Medal with Silver Oak Leaf, Army Achievement Medal with Silver Oak Leaf, National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, Army Parachutist Badge, and British Airborne Wings. Her special awards include the 2009 Department of Defense Military Meritorious Service Award for Blacks in Government and the 2008 Phi Delta Kappa (Germany Chapter) Philanthropian Award.
"The Wilson community is immensely proud of Col. Hale's accomplishments and the patriotic contributions she is making in defending our great country," Butterfield said as a speaker at the ceremony.
Butterfield noted that he has long known the Hale family - Col. Hale's mother was a first grade classmate and the family lived just 14 houses away. He said that she serves as an example to the community, and was especially proud that the Darden Alumni Scholarship enabled her to successfully pursue her college degree.
"I'm proud to have been part of the effort to create the scholarship and its shows how much can be accomplished when a community comes together to help it students pursue their goals," Butterfield said.
Butterfield said he recently talked with Hale at ECSU's Founder's Day where she was being honored with a Chancellor's Legacy Award, and he agreed to attend the promotion ceremony.
While attending ECSU, Hale was commissioned an Ordnance Officer in the Army Reserve Officer Training Corps Program, receiving Distinguished Military Graduate honors. From 1988-1991, she was assigned to the 184th Ordnance Company, Darmstadt, Germany; first as a Platoon Leader, and later, as an Operations Officer. From 1991-1996, she was assigned to Fort Bragg, N.C. where she served in the 264th Corps Support Battalion; first as a Company Commander, and later as the Battalion S3. As Company Commander, she deployed her unit to Haiti in support of Operation Uphold Democracy.
From 1996-1998, Hale was assigned as Chief of the Ammunition Branch in the 19th Theater Army Area Command, Taegu, South Korea. She departed South Korea to complete a second consecutive overseas assignment in Hawaii.
From 1998-2001, she served in the 45th Corps Support Group, first as the Group Supply Officer and later as the Battalion Executive Officer for the 524th Corps Support Battalion. From 2002-2004, Hale served as Special Assistant to the Commanding General of Forces Command in Atlanta, Ga.
She was then assigned to a joint position in the United States Central Command, Tampa, Fla. From 2006-2009, Hale served as the first garrison commander at the U.S. Army Garrison Kaiserslautern. Hale earned masters' degrees from Troy State University and the Naval War College. She and her husband, Ricky, have two sons, Ricky and Rashaad.