During a ceremony at the National World War I Museum and Memorial in Kansas City, Missouri National Guard Officer Sharon Martin – who is also a Kansas City Local 42 member – was promoted to the rank of brigadier general on July 14.
“Martin’s promotion is well-deserved. Her fellow members of Local 42 are proud of all that she has accomplished,” says Local 42 President Tim Dupin. “Her commitment to her country, to the KCFD and to her union is a model of achievement.”
“It is a great honor to be called to take on this important leadership role to preserve the safety of the state of Missouri and its citizens,” says Brigadier General Martin.
Martin began her military career in 1989 when she joined the Missouri National Guard with the rank of private first class. She immediately began working on her skill set by training as a combat medic and then spending a year in officer candidate school in 1991.
In 1995, Martin joined the Kansas City Fire Department and Kansas City, MO Local 42. Three years later, she was appointed to the position of business agent, an office she held for 12 years.
“All I have ever wanted to do is to work in public service. Both the National Guard and the fire service give me that opportunity,” says Martin.
When the 2014 riots broke out in Ferguson, Missouri, in response to the decision not to indict a police officer involved in the shooting death of Michael Brown, Martin was serving as a brigade commander of the 70th Troop Command.
“Our directive was to secure and reduce chaos in certain areas so that the police would be available to handle the more volatile spots,” says Martin. “We helped businesses safely stay open and kept Ferguson citizens out of harm’s way.”
During this time, Martin also attended the U.S. Army War College Distant Learning Program in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, graduating in 2016. She earned a master’s degree in strategic studies.
Meanwhile, she was transferred to the 110th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade in 2015, continuing to serve as brigade commander.
The degree, coupled with Martin’s leadership experience, made her a prime candidate to be promoted to the rank of brigadier general and selected as an Assistant Adjutant General in the Missouri National Guard.