Katie Peterson | Staff Writer
Command Sgt. Maj. Kristin Barrett assumed responsibility of the Combined Arms Center, Special Troops Battalion in a ceremony Oct. 10 at Frontier Chapel.
Barrett assumed responsibility from former STB Command Sgt. Maj. Kevin Campbell who relinquished responsibility Aug. 12 and is now the command sergeant major of the 101st Airborne Division Sustainment Brigade in Fort Campbell, Ky. Sgt. Maj. Ronny Da Costa, CAC career counselor, filled in during the interim.
“Today, command sergeants major are selected and promoted by the Department of the Army for participation in the Command Sergeants Major Program. Enlisted soldiers who attain this distinction are the epitome of success in the profession of arms within their chosen field or expertise,” said Sgt. 1st Class Steven Colon, STB, who served as the ceremony narrator. “There is no higher grade or rank in one’s career field for an enlisted soldier, except that of Sergeant Major of the Army, and there is no greater honor.”
Barrett enlisted into the Army on Oct. 25, 1995, and attended initial entry training at Fort Jackson, S.C., and advanced individual training at the Army School of Music in Virginia Beach, Va. Her assignments have included the U.S. Army Europe Band and Chorus in Heidelberg, Germany; oboe instructor at the Army School of Music; platoon sergeant for the Army Materiel Command Band in the Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland; first sergeant with the 1st Cavalry Division Band in Fort Hood, Texas; the 77th Army Band in Fort Sill, Okla., and the 282nd Army Band in Fort Jackson. Her most recent assignment was sergeant major of the 82nd Airborne Division Band and Chorus in Fort Bragg, N.C.
Barrett’s education includes a bachelor of music and a bachelor of music education degree from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, and a master of music degree from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Mich. Her military education includes all levels of the Noncommissioned Officer Education System throughout which she achieved commandant’s list honors at every level and distinguished honor graduate at the Senior Leaders Course, the Combat Lifesavers course, the Army Combatives Level One course, the Basic Instructor Qualification course, the Master Resiliency Trainer course and the Master Fitness course.
She holds several military awards, including the gold-level German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge.
“Command Sergeant Major Barrett, welcome to the team. I’m thrilled you’re here, and I think you’re a perfect match for the unique animal that is the CAC STB,” said Lt. Col. Charles Ausman, STB commander. “I think you’ll find without exception that these are some of the most professional and best teammates you could ask for, and without fail, whenever the STB has needed to do something, the (senior officers’) support is never in question. I know I will rely constantly on your wisdom, advice and counsel over the next year as we move forward together as a command team.”
Barrett said she is humbled and honored to serve as the STB command sergeant major.
“Truthfully, if you would have told me almost 24 years ago that this girl from, what was back then, the small town of Lee’s Summit, Missouri, would be standing in front of you today in this position, I would have thought you were delusional,” Barrett said. “As an Army bandsman — an oboe player by trade — we often operate in our own microcosm, focused on music and our craft. We don’t typically venture outside our so-called comfort zone.
“For me, my time at the Sergeants Major Academy opened my eyes to the vast extent in which the Army operates. Conversations with classmates, learning from the instructors, lectures in the master bedroom, these all whetted my appetite to learn, grow and be a part of the bigger Army picture,” she said. “It has challenged me to re-examine my thought on what the Army value of ‘selfless service’ truly means to me. … I am truly amazed with the scope of what this battalion has charge over … and, to be candid, it is a little bit intimidating. Well, I think I got what I asked for and then some in terms of being able to grow and selflessly serve.”