She once stared down Saddam Hussein and lived to tell about it. Retired Army Colonel Jill Morgenthaler is a woman of many firsts. She was one of the first women to enter ROTC and train as an equal with men. She was the first woman battalion commander in the 88 Regional Support Command; she was the first woman brigade commander in the 84 Division; and she was the first woman Homeland Security Advisor for the State of Illinois.
Colonel Jill handled disaster recovery during the San Francisco earthquake, worked as a peacekeeper in Bosnia, and helped sheltered Kosovar refugees. In Iraq, she ran the strategic communications for the international forces and on one memorable occasion stared down a hostile Saddam Hussein. For her performance in Iraqi 2004, she received the Bronze Star. Upon retirement, the Army awarded her the Legion of Merit.