News: SD Soldier receives national intelligence officer award
Story by 1st Lt. Chad Carlson
MCLEAN, Va. - A South Dakota Army National Guard intelligence officer received the 2014 Col. Carl F. Eifler Award at the 29th Annual Intelligence Awards Banquet, in McLean, Virginia, Sunday, May 18. First Lt. Bridget A. Flannery, of Flandreau, S.D., received the national award for her leadership and dedication to operations as the 152nd Combat Sustainment Support Battalion’s intelligence officer while deployed to Afghanistan.
The award ceremony, held by the National Military Intelligence Association and the National Military Intelligence Foundation, recognizes outstanding achievement of intelligence professionals from DOD components, national intelligence agencies and the Department of Homeland Security.
“First Lt. Flannery displayed outstanding leadership abilities in both preparation and execution during deployment to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom,” said Lt. Col. Michael Oster, 152nd CSSB battalion commander. “Her leadership vastly improved the situational awareness of intelligence gathering and presentation both in training and in combat.”
The Pierre, South Dakota-based 152nd CSSB returned in December from a five-month deployment where they provided multi-functional combat support and combat service support to forces throughout southern Afghanistan.
“It’s humbling,” said Flannery, of receiving the award. “I had a great team down-range, both within my own section and across our staff, and they all played a role in the good work we did.”
During one mission, Flannery’s section analyzed and connected source reports that prevented the use of an improvised explosive device.
“Her dedication resulted in preventing the catastrophic loss of Soldier’s lives and equipment,” said Oster. “Her stellar performance during the deployment had a direct and profound positive influence on our mission accomplishment and the ability for our units to accomplish their missions with zero casualties.”
Flannery, who was born and raised in Montrose, S.D., has served in the SDARNG for more than 17 years, 14 as an enlisted Soldier with the 1742nd Transportation Company. In 2010, she accepted a direct commission and transferred to the 152nd CSSB where she has since served as an intelligence officer.
“It means a lot to me to be recognized by my colleagues, and it’s pretty amazing to have been selected from my military intelligence peers for this award,” said Flannery. “I love the Guard. I love being the intelligence officer for the 152nd and serving the Soldiers of our battalion. It’s one of the biggest blessings of my life – and I live an awfully blessed life.”
Flannery lives in Flandreau, with her husband, Sgt. 1st Class Randy Tollefson and their son, Titus, 3.