WSMR's First Female Commander Promoted

Dec 3, 2013

Maj. Gen. Gwen Bingham is the only female commander of White Sands Missile Range.

In her own words – she’s come a long way.

“This young gal from Troy, Alabama is profoundly…proud to…be part of the military services.”

She says, when she first became general, it was her height people most joked about…

“He looked at me and he said you’re a general? I thought all generals were tall. I simply said to him, you know, they’re making them all shapes and sizes now.”

Now she takes a step up to two-star general while in command of the missile range.

There were a lot of people in the receiving line to congratulate general Bingham. She has a phrase for that back in her Alabama hometown.

“…a whole heap of people as we say in Alabama.”

At the ceremony, her children pinned her second star on.

Her son Phillip Bingham says he’s not a momma’s boy, but he does keep in touch with his mother.

“I call her pretty much everyday and tell her how I’m doing in school…my classes and whatnot.”

Phillip’s sister, Tava, was glad to be here.

“To us she’s mom…it’s so exciting to be able to participate in this today.”

For all her accomplishments as a woman and an African American woman…Maj. Gen. Bingham says she expects even more of her followers.

I always tell ‘em when they say, ‘I want to be like you,’ I say no, you want to be better than me.”