Retired Colonel Jill Morgenthaler is a woman of many firsts. She was one of the first women to enter ROTC and to train as an equal with men. She was the first female company commander in the Army Security Agency Group Korea; she was the first woman battalion commander in the 88th Regional Support Command; and she was the first woman brigade commander in the 84th Division, commanding hundreds of Soldiers across six states. In Illinois, she was the first woman to lead homeland security.
Col. Morgenthaler worked extensively in command centers in Korea, Berlin, Bosnia, and Iraq; handled disaster recovery during the San Francisco earthquake of 1989 and evacuation operations for Kosovar refugees. She led the entire strategic communications and public affairs for the commanding general in Iraq in 2004. The Army has awarded her the Legion of Merit and the Bronze Star.
As the Governor’s Deputy Chief of Staff for Public Safety and Homeland Security Advisor, Colonel Jill Morgenthaler was responsible for directing Illinois homeland security operations for the state. She provided guidance to Illinois Emergency Management Agency, Illinois Terrorism Task Force, Illinois National Guard, and other agencies to ensure that all levels of government work together for the prevention, preparedness, response, and recovery from natural disasters or terrorist incidents.