CAMP ETHAN ALLEN TRAINING SITE, Vt. –
Name: Maj. Matthew J. Wignall
Military Specialty: 19A (Armor Officer)
Years of Service: 17.5 (2 U.S. Coast Guard), (15.5 U.S. Army)
Unit Headquarters, 86 Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Mountain)
Hometown: Cumberland, RI
Current Town: Essex, VT
High School/Graduation Year: 1999
College/Graduation: B.S. Business Administration / 2003 / Norwich University
Masters of Business Administration (MBA) / 2010 / Norwich University
Q. Why did you join the National Guard?
A. After 6 years of service in the Active Army, I transitioned to the National Guard in order to achieve predictability and stabilization for my family, while continuing to serve our nation.
Q. What do you do in the Vermont National Guard?
A. I am the Brigade Operations Officer (S3). In this role, I am the primary officer responsible for training progression and tactical mission planning for a 4,200 Soldier Infantry Brigade Combat Team.
Q. What do you do for civilian work?
A. I am an Active Guard Reserve Soldier, which means I serve as a full-time/active member of the Vermont Army National Guard.
Q. What do you think is the greatest benefit of being in the National Guard?
A. There is no doubt in my mind that what I do matters. My job provides me with an unmatched sense of purpose.
Q. How has being a National Guard member benefited you in your local community and job?
A. Our community holds service members in high esteem and I am grateful for that. This also implies an obligation to serve as a positive role model both in and out of uniform. Children in our community deserve positive role models and it is a privilege to be viewed as one.
Q. What is your most memorable military moment?
A. My favorite memories include the days when I promote Soldiers under my command.
Q. How long have you lived in Vermont?
A. Since 2009.
Q. What is your favorite aspect of living or working where you do?
A. In 2009, I was serving at Fort Lewis, Washington when my wife and I decided to leave the active-Army. From her time as a student at St. Michaels College (Education Major), my wife was impressed by the education program in Essex. We decided that we wanted to raise our children in Essex and found a way to make everything around it work. Continued service in the Army was an absolute bonus. Furthermore, live in a community that is supportive of the military and has great access to outdoor recreation year-round.
Q. What has surprised you about the Vermont National Guard?
A. Throughout the National Guard, and active component, the Vermont Army National Guard has a tremendous reputation. I’m very proud to be part of that.
Q. What is your favorite part about serving in the Vermont National Guard?
A. We are home to the Army’s only Mountain Infantry Brigade. This is as good as it gets.