133rd Engineer Battalion holds ceremony
The Maine Army National Guard’s 133rd Engineer Battalion held a change of command ceremony April 3 at the Brunswick Armed Forces Reserve Center during which Lt. Col. Shanon Cotta turned over command to Lt. Col. Lisa Sessions.

“133rd Engineer Battalion soldiers have served with distinction in supporting U.S. Customs and Border Patrol on the Southwest border, provided Maine CDC with COVID-19 assistance throughout Maine healthcare facilities, supported the 59th Presidential Inauguration for President Biden, conducted engineer projects at Wood Island Life Saving Station, and prepared for future projects in East Millinocket and Skowhegan,” said Cotta, who has been commander since October 2020.

During the ceremony, Cotta was presented with the Meritorious Service Medal, as well as the Bronze Order of the de Fleury Medal, an award presented by the Army Engineer Association for members who have had a significant impact on the U.S. Army Engineer Regiment. His next assignment will be in the operations section at Joint Force Headquarters.

Sessions returns to the battalion having just completed a tour as the Joint Force Headquarters detachment commander in Augusta. In addition to several previous staff positions, she previously commanded the 136th Engineer Company, based in Skowhegan and Lewiston, as well as the headquarters company of the 133rd in Brunswick.

“As a young lieutenant, it was my dream to one day command this battalion,” said Sessions, who is the first female officer to command the 133rd. “I didn’t get here alone. I had mentors and I had peers … It’s really an honor and a humbling experience to lead the finest men and women the Maine Army National Guard has to offer.”

Cotta was raised in South China, Maine, the son of David and Helga Cotta, and graduated from Erskine Academy. He and his wife Jill, a teacher in Edgecomb, have three children. They  currently live in Alna.

Sessions is the daughter of Brian Sessions of Norway and Marina Sessions of Clarksburg, W.Va. She currently resides in Arlington, Va., with her partner Ryan, and is employed as a human resources specialist for the National Guard Bureau. Sessions received both her undergraduate and masters degrees from Southern New Hampshire University.

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