June 10 (UPI) -- Army Brig. Gen. Laura Yeager has been named as the first woman to command a U.S. Army infantry division.
Military officials said Yeager will assume command of the 40th Infantry Division of the California National Guard on June 29 at the Joint Forces Training Base in Los Alamitos, Calif. She will take over for the retiring Maj. Gen. Mark Malanka.
Yeager started her active-duty military career in 1986 as a second lieutenant and she completed helicopter pilot training in 1989, flying the UH-60 Black Hawk. She was an aeromedical evacuation pilot.
Yeager left active duty after eight years when her son was born, but she was deployed to Iraq in 2011 as part of the 40th Combat Aviation Brigade. She served as the commander of the 3rd Battalion, the 140th Aviation Regiment and the 40th Combat Aviation Brigade.
Yeager is currently commander of Joint Task Force North, U.S. Northern Command at Fort Bliss, Texas.