JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas —
The newest U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research, or USAISR, first sergeant took responsibility of the Headquarters and Headquarters Command Company during a change of responsibility ceremony at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston Sept. 28.
First Sgt. Brittney D. Graham took responsibility of the company from 1st Sgt. Kenneth M. Carey, who departs to Fort Rucker, Alabama, to be the senior enlisted advisor at the U.S. Army Aeromedical Research Laboratory.
“First Sergeant Graham, Capt. Bryant [Capt. Cleveland Bryant, USAISR HHC Company commander] and I have worked hard over the last 24 months to hand over a good company to you with a solid foundation,” he said. “We’ve done that. You have a good foundation. Now, it’s time for you to build the house.”
Graham steps into her new role after having served as the noncommissioned officer in charge of the Dental and Craniofacial Trauma Research Directorate at the Institute and said she was looking forward to improving combat casualty care.
“I’m excited and humbled,” Graham said. “I want to have a positive influence on the staff as a key leader within the organization, and I want to leave the organization better than it is.”
Graham joined the Army in 2003 and attend advanced initial training to become a dental specialist after completing Army Basic Combat Training.
“The reason that I joined the Army was because my oldest brother told me that I couldn’t do it,” she said. “My mom always told me to not ever let anyone tell me what I can’t do and to never be afraid to go after what I want in life, so I did it.”
Graham described herself as a passionate and selfless leader who will give her all to the Soldiers and civilians of the USAISR.
“I’m a leader who treats everyone with dignity and respect,” she added. “I have a high standard of commitment to the unit and I ask that my Soldiers give 100 percent every day, to choose the hard right over the easy wrong, and to take advantage of the opportunities presented to them.”
For the last 13 years, Graham has been married to Army Master Sgt. Charles Graham, who also serves as the first sergeant at the JBSA Dental Health Activity. They also have three children, ages 10 through 17.
“My husband has been there to support me through the last 13 years and is a huge reason why I am where I am today,” Graham said. “Of course, my journey throughout the years wouldn’t be complete without my kids. They have definitely taught me how to be resilient and how to be a more compassionate person.”
A short-term goal that Graham has set for herself is to balance work and family as much as possible. Her long-term goals are to retire from the Army and to earn a Master of Business Administration degree.
“Most of all, I want to focus on ensuring that the unit readiness is consistently 95 percent or better,” she said.
“First Sergeant Graham, you have what it takes to be a first sergeant and you will do a phenomenal job,” Bryant said. “Congratulations on your selection as the first sergeant of this great and diverse organization. You will make a great first sergeant.”