Holmen woman becomes first female State Command Chief for WI Air National Guard

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) – A Holmen woman is making history.

Chief Master Sergeant Meredith Conn is the new senior enlisted leader for Wisconsin Air National Guard, and the first woman to assume the role.

She began her military career with the active-duty Air Force and joined the Wisconsin Air National Guard while pursuing an education degree.

At Volk Field, she was one of the founding members of the Wisconsin Air National Guard’s State Enlisted Development Program, and became the program’s manager.

Before taking on this new position, she was the senior enlisted advisor to the commander.

As the State Command Chief, she listens to issues affecting Airmen and then brings that information up the chain of command to advise and inform the adjutant general.

“It’s really important that I listen to the Airmen in this State, do a little investigative work to learn what’s affecting them, what’s good, what’s bad, and how I can help.”

Conn says she believes in being a servant leader.

“I work for my Airmen. I need to ensure that they have what they need to do their job, serve as their conduit, and be here for them, to listen.”

She says she’s honored to be the first woman taking on this role, and one of the many women achieving higher ranks.

“Females are breaking through the barriers and doing some things in the military that we haven’t previously done. It’s really exciting to see females accomplish these things that have previously been reserved for males.”

Conn has been serving for 29 years and moved into her new position on June 1st.

As a woman, she hopes that she can bring additional perspectives to this role.

She’s lived in Holmen since 2009.

In addition to her military career, she graduated from UWL in 2003, is a wife and mother, and also a former middle school teacher.