Martha T Rainville

Major General Martha Rainville
Major General Martha Rainville

Time Period

1940 to Today

Subject Categories

Government / Politics, Military

Notable Facts

First woman to be elected as a state Adjutant General for the U.S. National Guard. Republican Congressional Candidate in 2006, but was defeated by Democrat Peter Welch. Currently employed by FEMA in Washington, D.C.

Personal Information

Date of Birth

04/09/1958

Primary Residence

St. Albans

Ethnicity

Caucasian

Historical Significance

Major General Martha Rainville is the first woman to be elected as a state Adjutant General for the United States National Guard. After graduating from the University of Mississippi in 1979, Rainville entered the United States Air Force Officer Basic Military Training Program at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas. She served at air force bases in Minnesota, New York, Illinois, and Florida, where she was officer-in-charge of aircraft maintenance. She met her husband Norman in Florida, and they have three children: Jennifer, Nick, and Alex.

Rainville joined the 158th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron of the Vermont National Guard in 1988, and assumed command in 1992. In 1994 her team won the Worldwide Air Force Fighter Weapons Meet. She was elected as Adjutant General for the U.S. National Guard by the Vermont Legislature in 1997. As Adjutant General she was the Inspector General and Quartmaster General for the Vermont Army Guard and Air National Guard, overseeing 4,600 members. She also ran the state military department. In 1997, Martha was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from St. Michael's College in Colchester, Vermont. Under Martha's leadership, the Vermont Air Guard became the first unit in U.S. history to earn an Operational Readiness Inspection rank of "Outstanding." She has also served on the board of directors of the Northwest Medical Center and was the chair of the District Six Environmental Commission.

After retiring from the military, Rainville was a Republican Congressional Candidate in 2006. She was defeated by Peter Welch and took a job with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in Washington, D.C.

Organizations or Movements

  • National Guard
  • Chair of the District Six Environmental Commission
  • Board of Directors of the Northwest Medical Center
  • Federal Emergency Management Agency
  • Northern New England Red Cross Blood Services Board of Directors
  • Trustee at Norwich University

Occupations

  • Major General
  • Adjutant General for the U.S. National Guard
  • Officer-in-charge of Aircraft Maintenance
  • Assistant Administrator, National Continuity Programs at the Federal Emergency Management Agency

Education

  • B.A. in Education from the University of Mississippi (1979)
  • Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from St. Michael's College (1997).

Additional Information (Bibliography)

  • National Guard Bureau Biography Link

  • Those Indomitable Vermont Women

  • Federal Emergency Managment Agency Link

  • Interview with General Martha Rainville Link

  • Where the Candidates Stand Link

  • FEMA Bio Link

Additional Images

Martha Rainville
Martha Rainville