MAY 12, 2023 – Military Intelligence Readiness Command (MIRC) company command teams arrived May 8 to kick off pilot symposiums designed to highlight special programs. Each two-day event provided an opportunity to educate company grade leaders about resources the Army provides to assist soldiers.
Army special programs include equal opportunity (EO), Army Substance Abuse and Prevention (ASAP), suicide prevention, Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention (SHARP), resiliency, psychological health programs, and chaplain’s services.
The pilot commander symposiums provided a unique opportunity to expose command teams to MIRC special program representatives in person.
Maj. Gen. Eugene Leboeuf, U.S. Army Reserve Command deputy commanding general, travelled to Austin and delivered opening remarks.
“It’s a privilege and its hard work, and we thank you for stepping up to the plate,” said Leboeuf as he expressed his gratitude to symposium participants and acknowledged the burdens of leadership.
Leboeuf also offered advice to commanders, spoke of delegation and sharing the load with noncommissioned officers. “Help empower that first line leader; you can’t do it all yourself. That’s the foundation of fit disciplined cohesive units of actions.”
“Here you’re going to hear about the different programs, many that you’re aware of, so you will get a better idea of what they’re delivering,” said Leboeuf during his opening remarks. He concluded his visit following a question-and-answer session.
“What I hope the command teams leave here with is that they see prevention as an integrated construct and they see all of us as a team,” said Alicia Cline, MIRC suicide prevention manger. “This is the MIRC’s first effort towards primary prevention. I see this as really monumental for us, to get our commanders as far left of crisis as possible.”
Outside experts also provided insight beyond curriculum gleaned from established Army programs.
Virginia Cruse provided her perspective to participants as well. She recounted her experience counseling survivors of the May 2022 mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas.
Cruse is a counselor specializing in grief and trauma that works with military members. She provided valuable insights. “When we survive it, we get to define it. No one has the right to define your lived experience. Every recovery journey is very different.”
“Having the face-to-face connections with the special programs and building relationships with other commanders in the MIRC will be really valuable,” said Capt. Christine Zabriskie, commander of B Detachment, 826th Military Intelligence Battalion.
Zabriskie’s unit faced tragedy before she assumed command. “I was in the unique position where the company commander had committed suicide. So I came into a company that was dealing with loss. I think having a prevention plan in place in terms of how our first line leaders will be empowered to interface with their Soldiers is something that can come out of the conference.”
Leaders at the company and detachment level used what they learned to formulate tailored risk reduction efforts before heading home.
Zabriskie appreciated conducting the training in person. “I know it’s an investment for the MIRC in order to do that for the commanders and I appreciate the focus on trying to give us what we need to do our best for our Soldiers.”
The MIRC provides deployable forces and vital support that enable intelligence operations, expeditionary missions, and international engagement. Formed in 2005 as the U.S. Army Reserve’s first functional command, the MIRC has provided operational intelligence support to nearly every national intelligence agency and combatant command while simultaneously conducting multi-discipline intelligence operations in support of Army service component commands and worldwide contingency operations.
Story by Maj. Joshua Frye
Military Intelligence Readiness Command