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    New HSC commander sets tone with high expectations

    New HSC commander sets tone with high expectations

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Michael Giles | Texas National Guard Capt. Christina Briggs, the new commander of the 36th Infantry...... read more read more



    Story by Spc. Christina Clardy 

    36th Infantry Division (TXARNG)

    Capt. Christina Briggs took her new company to the field on her first drill. To prepare for three days on the weapon ranges away from the unit’s home base, a hundred moving parts and pieces had to be approved and put in place to allow for training and weapons qualifications. She set the tone as she expressed her high expectations. She reviewed logistical checklists and quizzed the company staff on the finer details of their preparations. Finding thorough and well-defined plans in place, she set the tone for her high expectations and found her standards well-met.

    Briggs took command of the Headquarters and Support Company, Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 36th Infantry Division, based out of Camp Mabry in Austin, Texas, in September 2017.

    One of the challenges of commanding a division-level headquarters and support company involves the large number of division and command staff, said HSC 1st Sgt. James Hanson. This means quite a few largely outrank the company commander, he explained.

    “You also need to have the ability to wrangle the wide variety of jobs, ranks and special requirements of all our sections and staff, which can be very daunting,” Hanson said. “There are so many moving parts that organization is extremely important for this type of company.”

    The staff could tell from her investigative questioning on her first day that she’s expecting the company to meet high standards, said 1st Lt. Clarissa Phalen, the company’s executive officer.

    Phalen and Hanson each expressed that Briggs has already shown during this drill weekend that she will succeed with the challenges of leading HSC.

    “She came in full force, wanting to make sure all our equipment was accounted for, which is a huge thing,” said Phalen, the executive officer of HSC for the past two years. “HSC needs someone who can adapt to all sorts of situations and circumstance. She is not only going to adapt - she’s going to bring HSC to a higher level.”

    Briggs started her military career in Reserve Officers’ Training Corps at Texas State University. After commissioning, she served as a Military Police Officer at Fort Bragg, N.C.

    After completing her time in active duty, she worked in the healthcare field, first in the fitness arena, and then as a nurse. Eventually she realized she wanted to continue leading and mentoring soldiers.

    “I missed soldiers, missed serving, and decided to come back in,” said Briggs. “But not just for any job, I came back in because I wanted to teach and instruct.”

    After an 8-year break from the military, she joined the Texas Army National Guard as a Teach, Assist and Counsel Officer and instructor at Officer Candidate School for four years before a new challenge opened up.

    “This position came available, and I’m excited about being here for this opportunity,” said Briggs.

    She stated that she is excited to learn about all the different sections and to lead such a diversely skilled unit. Communication is a key point in her leadership style and she wants soldiers to know that she is approachable, she said.

    “I’m a very open person, so what you see is what you get,” she said. “I like to have a dialogue with my soldiers and I like talking to people, because I believe that’s how you get things done.”

    Soldiers can expect to see her out in the field and she encourages her new soldiers to come talk to her so she can get to know them, she said.

    “I’m a teamwork-oriented, hands-on type of person,” said Briggs. “I try to carry myself in the manner that I would expect of my soldiers, and I’m never going to ask them to do something I wouldn’t do myself.”

    Hanson believes her energy and enthusiasm will enable her to succeed, he said.

    “She is a hard charger, and has high expectations for the company,” Hanson said. “She makes her personal life and military life equal. She treats her unit and her soldiers like family and has already demonstrated her desire to be approachable yet push her soldiers to constantly improve.”

    Phalen expressed that she’s already impressed with her new leader, and optimistic about the direction the unit will take.

    “She’s got that go-getter drive,” said Phalen. “I’m looking forward to serving next to her and learning as much as I can from her.”




    Date Taken: 10.29.2017
    Date Posted: 10.30.2017 13:35
    Story ID: 253452
    Location: AUSTIN, TX, US 
    Hometown: AUSTIN, TX, US
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