MAJOR RETIRED, USAR
Ruben began her career in the enlisted ranks of the Illinois
Army National Guard at Headquarters of the 33rd Infantry Brigade
on 22 April 1974. After attending Basic Training at Fort McClellan,
Alabama, she attended the Wheeled Vehicle Course (64C now
88M) at Fort Dix, New Jersey and became the first female Light
Vehicle Driver with the Illinois National Guard.
She drove for the Brigade HHC commander. In February 1976
she transferred to the 1st Bn, 178th Infantry where she was
driver for the Battalion Commander. Major Ruben attained the
rank of sergeant with the 178th Infantry Battalion prior to
enrollment of Officer Candidate School.
After three years enlisted, she became the first woman from
the state of Illinois to be commissioned at the U.S. Army
Infantry School at Fort Benning, Georgia. Major Ruben graduated
from BIOCC 2-77 (Basic Infantry Officer Candidate Course)
in June 1977. Major Ruben was in the second class that admitted
women and was technically the first black woman to receive
a commission from this Regular Army course. Following commissioning,
Major Ruben completed the Adjutant General Basic Course (42-A)
at Fort Benjamin Harrison, Indiana in 1978.
Major Rubenís first assignment as an officer was with the
33rd Infantry Brigade's 108th Support Battalion as Assistant
Adjutant. During her first year, the Adjutant General of the
state of Illinois requested that Major Ruben join the staff
at the Illinois Army National Guard Military Academy in Springfield
where she served as a Tactical Officer responsible for the
leadership development of future officers. In a short time,
she became Class Chief and also served on the Board of officers
determining admission to the Academy. Major Ruben's first
Army Commendation Medal (ARCOM 1981) resulted from this service.
Major Ruben's next assignment was as a Platoon Commander with
the 508th Medical Company (IL STARC). For this assignment,
she acquired a second specialty as a Field Medical Assistant
(67-B) by attending the course at Fort Sam Houston, Texas
in 1981. Next Major Ruben served as S-4 (logistics officer)
for the 108th Medical Battalion (IL STARC).
In 1985, Major Ruben transitioned to the US Army Reserves,
where she served with the 477th Personnel Services Company
first as Personnel Management Officer, then as Executive Officer
and finally as Interim Commander. Major Ruben's achievements
during this time were rewarded with the Army Achievement Medal
(1987). In 1988, Major Ruben completed the Adjutant General
Advance Course in residence at Fort Benjamin Harrison, Indiana.
While serving as Interim Commander of the 477th, the Chief
of Staff of the 425th Transportation Brigade (COSCOM) requested
that Major Ruben become the Brigade Adjutant. She accepted
and served in that capacity for 3 years during which she completed
two back-to-back 179-day tours on Active Duty for Special
Work. In this capacity, Major Ruben managed a communications
budget of approximately $50K-$75K for units in 6 Midwestern
states. She handled the logistics and installation of the
first personal computers to these units as well as arranged
the training of personnel to use the computers. She also served
as Assistant Instructor in that training. Major Ruben was
awarded her first Meritorious Service Medal (1991) for her
active duty service.
While with the 425th Transportation Brigade (COSCOM), Major
Ruben participated in the major logistics exercise WINTEX/LOGEX
for a three-year period beginning with travel to V CORPS in
West Germany and culminating with LOGEX 90 at Fort Lee, W.Va.
She became the brigade expert on reconstitution/reconstruction
and trained personnel in this concept, significantly enhancing
the training experience for Logistics Exercise 90 (LOGEX)
Next Major Ruben agreed to serve as S1/Adjutant for the 336th
Transportation Group. A major responsibility during this tour
was functioning as Detachment Commander for the HHD. ARCOM
(1st OLC1993) resulted from this service. Major Ruben remained
with the 336th through its interim mission assigned by the
CG 86th ARCOM of providing administrative service to the members
of the 425th Transportation Brigade (COSCOM) during its period
of inactivation (1994-1995). For this service she was awarded
ARCOM (2nd OLC 1995).
Major Ruben's final assignment was with the 1st Brigade, 85th
Division. During which time, she willingly shared and never
faltered in sharing her expertise and knowledge of staff functions
and personnel services on the battlefield in simulation exercises.
Major Ruben exhibited a vast knowledge and understanding of
battlefield functions stemming from her years of experience
and training in line units in an infantry environment. A graduate
(1995) of the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute
(DEOMI) at Patrick Airforce Base, Florida, Major Ruben served
as the 2nd Group's Equal Opportunity Advisor. Upon retirement,
she received her second Meritorious Service Medal (1999).
Major Ruben currently serves as Vice President of the 8th
Infantry Illinois National Guard Association. In civilian
life she is an educator. She holds a Master of Education Degree
and a Bachelorís Degree in Psychology. She resides in a southern
suburb of Chicago with husband, 1SG Luther L. Newburn Sr.