Military Guests to Join the First Lady for State of the Union

First Lady Michelle Obama


An Army sergeant, an astronaut and retired Navy captain, the commander of the nation’s special operations forces, and a colonel whose same-sex partner helped her make history are the invited guests of First Lady Michelle Obama for Tuesday night’s State of the Union address by Pres. Barack Obama.


  • Army Sgt. Ashleigh Berg is from Malibu, Calif., and joined the Army in July 2004. She has been stationed in South Korea and Germany, and has served two tours in Iraq. Her husband, Army Sgt. Matthew Berg, is deployed to Afghanistan on his third combat tour.
  • Retired Navy Capt. Mark Kelly is an astronaut, best-selling author, and an experienced naval aviator who flew combat missions during the Gulf War. He became the center of international attention after the January 2011 assassination attempt on his wife, U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona.
  • Navy Adm. William McRaven commands U.S. Special Operations Command. McRaven has commanded at every level within the special operations community, including assignments as deputy commanding general for operations at JSOC, commodore of Naval Special Warfare Group 1, commander of SEAL Team 3, task group commander in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility, task unit commander during operations Desert Storm and Desert Shield, squadron commander at Naval Special Warfare Development Group, and SEAL platoon commander at Underwater Demolition Team 21/SEAL Team 4.
  • Air Force Col. Ginger Wallace is an Air Force intelligence officer who has led airlift and intelligence operations during operations Southern Watch, Provide Relief, Uphold Democracy, Allied Force, Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. She lives in McLean, Va., with her partner of more than a decade, Kathy Knopf.

You can read more about each military guest HERE.

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