N.C. Marine becomes unit’s first female sergeant major

The Associated Press

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CAMP LEJEUNE — Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. Lanette Wright has become the first female senior enlisted leader of a Marine Expeditionary Unit.

Wright took over Friday from Sgt. Maj. Octaviano Gallegos Jr., who leaves the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit after two deployments.

The MEU is composed of some 2,300 Marines who are organized in a command element, a ground combat element, an aviation combat element and a logistics combat element. It is a primary Marine Corps crisis response organization.

Marine Corps spokesman Staff Sgt. R.L. Fisher says Wright’s advancement builds on the first deployment of females to MEUs in the mid-1990s, when berthing spaces were converted for women aboard amphibious assault ships.