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News from the Oklahoma National Guard

NEWS | July 13, 2021

Frazer becomes first woman to lead combat company in 45th IBCT

By Anthony Jones 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team

Capt. Marissa Frazer became the first woman to command a combat arms company in the 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team when she assumed command of the Thunderbird Brigade’s Bravo Battery, 1st Battalion, 160th Field Artillery Regiment in a ceremony at the National Guard armory in Holdenville, Oklahoma, July 9, 2021.

“I’m truly honored to be taking this position, battery command is not a position every captain is granted, let alone a cannon battery,” Frazer said. “It’s cool, knowing I’m hopefully paving that path for future female Soldiers to follow, both on the officer side and the enlisted side."

Frazer joined the Oklahoma Army National Guard as a vehicle mechanic in 2013, before the ban on women serving in combat roles such as infantry or field artillery was lifted. She went on to earn her commission as a field artillery officer in 2017 through the University of Oklahoma Reserve Officer Training Corps program.

It was in ROTC that Frazer, a native of Midlothian, Texas who now lives in Waxahachie, Texas, began her interest in field artillery and combat arms rather than logistics or engineering.

“I really like a challenge and I wanted to do something fun,” Frazer said. “My degree is actually in engineering so naturally it might have been better to go into engineer or even logistics but I wanted to do something completely different and I really like a challenge.”

One of Frazer’s ROTC instructors played a role in her decision to become a field artillery officer. Frazer said he was a forward observer noncommissioned officer who shared stories of serving in field artillery units – something Frazer believed sounded exciting.

“I loved it. As soon as we went to our first live-fire, I thought it was awesome,” Frazer said about her decision to become a field artillery officer. “I’m still like a kid when we go to live-fires but it’s more than ‘cannon go boom.’ There are a lot of things that go into [effectively employing field artillery] all the way from the fire control center calculating everything - to the observers who are calling for fire or observing rounds and making corrections – all the way down to the crew members who are actually on the gun constantly troubleshooting and making things run as efficiently as possible.”

Lt. Col. Ronnie Beck, commander of the 1-160th FA, said anyone who knows Frazer would not be surprised to find out he chose her to command Bravo Battery.

“With Marissa Frazer, there is no one better I could pick to be a battery commander and I think she’ll set a standard for many years to come,” Beck said. “Anyone who knows Capt. Frazer since she first commissioned as an officer could see this coming and knew that she would absolutely command a firing battery someday.”

With Frazer becoming the first woman to lead a combat arms company in the 45th IBCT, the 1-160th FA has become a home of historic firsts for women serving in combat roles in the Oklahoma Army National Guard. The battalion was also where the first woman to become a combat arms officer served.

“Hopefully, if anything comes of [being the first], it is to be that inspiration for those women, who may be on the same path as me,” Frazer said. “They kind of can look up to me and see ‘I can do that if I want to do it.’”
Video by Staff Sgt. Reece Heck
Oklahoma Guard conducts annual Mechanic of the Year competition
Oklahoma National Guard
Feb. 7, 2024 | 1:36
Oklahoma Army National Guardsmen gathered to test their mechanical skills at the third annual Mechanic of the Year competition held at the Combined Support Maintenance Shop in Norman, Oklahoma, Feb. 7, 2024. (Oklahoma National Guard video by Staff Sgt. Reece Heck)

CG Information:
Chief Warrant Officer 4 Rocky Anderson
President of the Mechanic of the Year Board