Military Wiki
Martha Rainville
Born April 9, 1958(1958-04-09) (age 64)
Place of birth New London, Connecticut
Allegiance United States
Service/branch Seal of the US Air Force.svg United States Air Force
Rank US-O8 insignia.svg Major General
Awards Legion of Merit
Meritorious Service Medal

Martha Rainville (née Trim, born April 9, 1958(1958-04-09) (age 64), New London, Connecticut) is a former Vermont National Guard Adjutant General, and retired Air Force Major General. Rainville is the first woman in the history of the National Guard to serve as a state Adjutant General. In 2006 she ran as the Republican candidate for Vermont's at-large congressional district. She was defeated by Democratic candidate Peter Welch. Currently, Rainville is Chief Operating Officer of Civil Support International LLC, a consulting firm which advises private contractors and government agencies in matters related to disaster preparedness, crisis response, and homeland defense and security.

Education and National Guard service

After graduating from the Chamberlain-Hunt Academy (1975), Rainville received a Bachelor of Arts in Education from the University of Mississippi (1979). Following graduation, she entered the United States Air Force, and was a 1979 Distinguished Graduate of the United States Air Force Officer Basic Military Training Program at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas. She served on active duty from 1978–1984, then transferred to the 174th Consolidated Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, New York Air National Guard, Syracuse, N.Y. She also served in the Air Force Reserve in Minneapolis, Minn. and the Vermont Air National Guard before becoming the Adjutant General of the State of Vermont in March 1997.[1] The position of Adjutant General carried with it the rank of Major General. The first woman in the history of the National Guard to hold this position, Rainville commanded 3,800 members of the Vermont Army and Air National Guard. She also served as the commissioner of the Military Department, State of Vermont. As Adjutant General, Rainville ensured that the Army and Air National Guard worked as a joint force enabling the Air and the Army Guard to rapidly response to natural disasters in the state. Along with her work in Vermont, Rainville served on the Reserve Forces Policy Board, the executive committee of the Adjutant Generals Association of the United States, and was elected vice chair of the Board for Air National Guard of the National Guard Association of the United States.


In 2005, Rainville began consulting with members of the Republican and Democratic parties regarding a possible run for the U.S. House of Representatives or the U.S. Senate. She was courted by members of both parties. Rainville announced her candidacy in the early spring of 2006 as a Republican, stressing government reform, ethics, homeland security, and a strong national defense.


In 2006, Rainville ran for Vermont's at-large congressional district. Early in the campaign, Rainville signed a Clean Campaign Pledge in which she vowed to not attack her opponent Welch, and condemned negative TV ads by third parties in the race. Rainville’s campaign, though a positive one, made some gaffes. A plagiarizing scandal (originally documented by Julie Waters, a Vermont blogger) involving one of her staffers resulted in a drop in the polls.[2] A strong national anti-Republican wave, based partially on dwindling support for the post-invasion Iraqi occupation, combined with a desire to restore an oversight role to the Congress, made winning the seat an uphill battle. On Election Day, Welch was elected with a 9 percent lead. It was Rainville’s first run for office.


In 2007, Rainville was appointed counselor to the Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) administrator and deputy administrator for Continuity Programs. Rainville served as the assistant administrator from 2007-2009 and was responsible for ensuring that FEMA performed its role as Lead Agent for Federal Executive Branch Continuity Programs, including preparation and implementation of Continuity of Operations, Continuity of Government and Contingency Programs across a full threat spectrum. Additionally, she oversaw implementation of continuity taskings assigned to FEMA/DHS in HSPD-20/NSPD-51 including developing and promulgating Federal Continuity Directives, conducting biennial assessments of all Federal Executive Department and Agency continuity capabilities and developing continuity guidance for state, local, territorial and tribal governments and the private sector.[3]


Rainville is the daughter of the late Nick and Lucille Trim of Port Gibson, Mississippi. Martha Rainville resides in Virginia and has three children. She is divorced, but is now married to the Honorable Paul McHale, a former Congressman from Pennsylvania and the former Assistant Secretary of Defense.[4] McHale is a member of the Democratic Party.

Martha Rainville (center back) in her role as a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) case studies specialist accompanies Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff in a demonstration of the Coast Guard's Deployable Operations Group


  1. [1] U.S. Department of Defense. (1997-02-27)
  2. Julie in VT. Rainville's Stolen Ideas Reason and Brimstone. (October 1, 2006)
  3. The Associated Press (April 18, 2007). "Rainville takes job at FEMA". Rutland Herald. 
  4. Express-Times article, (January 12, 2009)

External links

  • [2] National Guard General Officer Biography
Preceded by
Donald E. Edwards
Vermont Adjutant General
Succeeded by
Michael Dubie

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