News: Women’s History Month: Arizona Guard officer enjoys several leadership roles
Story by Sgt. Lauren Twigg
PHOENIX - For Arizona National Guard members, service means a double life – civilian and military, state and federal, leader and follower – each role welcomed with open arms.
Army Capt. Brook Wiggins, a native of Helena, Mont., serves here as a company commander as well the family programs director for the Arizona National Guard.
Wiggins ventured into the Army to seek a higher calling and a challenge during her studies at the University of Arizona.
“Unlike others, I did not have any thoughts about joining the military until I was a sophomore in college,” she said. “Knowing that I wanted structure, discipline, and a sense of purpose, I decided to join the Army Reserve Officer Training Corps.”
Although Wiggins suggests that the ROTC program was just a “taste” of military life, it gave her a jumpstart into what would become her military career.
“[The program] allowed me to build camaraderie with others and learn some basics about military service and what I could do for my country,” she said.
Wiggins, now a company commander within the 153rd Brigade Support Battalion for the Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, reflects on where the last 5 ½ years of her career has taken her.
“Being a commander is something that I have always wanted the privilege of doing since commissioning as an officer,” Wiggins said. “I have been fortunate enough to be given this opportunity, which truly has been rewarding.”
According to Wiggins, the part of being a commander that she enjoys most is leading Soldiers. “In this capacity you are able to train, mentor and develop a team. As an officer, I am here to serve Soldiers and help build a strong team to support the organization's mission,” she said.
While she is in charge of a company-size element during drill weekend, which is never just a “weekend job,” she also dedicates Monday through Friday helping Guard families.
“In my full-time capacity, I am responsible for ensuring family programs provides efficient and effective services and resources to service members and their families to support readiness and retention,” Wiggins said. “My team does an excellent job supporting commanders and those who need our assistance, and that’s what makes this job so rewarding.”
Wiggins said she’s humbled by the opportunities she’s had in the Guard and by the contributions of American women to national defense.
“I am thankful and proud of all the women who have served before me and made it possible for me to serve in the capacity I am right now,” she said. “The courage and persistence of women such as Gen. Ann Dunwoody, the first female four-star general in the Armed Forces, has inspired me to do my part in writing history.”