Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Suppes assumed his position as Command Sergeant Major of the 229th Military Intelligence Battalion in a change of responsibility ceremony Jan. 12, on Soldier Field at the Presidio of Monterey.
Command Sgt. Maj. Lourdes Barragan, principal advisor to the 229th MI BN commander, skillfully led her Griffin Soldiers through thick and thin during the height of the pandemic.
During her time from July 2020 to January of 2023, Barragan was key in the activation of a new company and the complete reorganization of the battalion based on foreign language, making it easier for both civilian and military cadre to manage students.
“Command Sgt. Maj. Barragan, in the last seven months as our time as a command team, I have known you to exemplify what the Soldiers of Fox company proclaim as their motto in that you “Never Quit” when it comes to the care of your Soldiers. “You are many things to many people, but to me you have been a rock of an NCO every officer should be lucky enough to have,” said 229th MI BN Commander Lt. Col. Christopher Gin.“I want to thank all of you for your trust and support throughout my time in the seat. Thank you for entrusting me to lead the largest military intelligence battalion in the Army,” said Barragan.
“Command Sgt. Maj. Barragan, thank you for all your work in setting me up for success, best of luck to you at Fort Meade,” said Suppes, speaking about her next duty station.
When Barragan arrived at DLIFLC in July 2020, the pandemic was in full swing, with nearly all students and faculty working online from their barracks or homes. She skillfully met the challenge off managing cadre and students by maintaining her open-door policy communication methods during an unprecedented time of uncertainty.
“She was instrumental in implementing the “People First initiative that stemmed from the tragic murder of Spc. Vanessa Guillen at Fort Hood that spring,” said Sgt. Maj. Jason Crawford. “She led the ‘Your Voice Matters’ sensing sessions with Soldiers that allowed people to express their feelings,” he explained.
With a series of events in 2021 that were followed by social turmoil in the nation, Barragan spent time working closely with the Equal Opportunity Office and Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention Program, “to establish channels of communication to eradicate corrosive behaviors,” said Crawford.
Later, Barragan guided the MI BN through the early implementation of the Department of Defense vaccination policy, urging Soldiers to get vaccinated but remain vigilant in their activities and to continue masking in an environment where close quarters are the norm.
“Griffins, I want you to know you are in good hands as I depart. Command. Sgt. Maj. Suppes is a proven leader who has served at DLI before…I leave my warrior nerds in the care of another capable leader. Yankee Samurai, Soldiers First, Griffin 7 signing off,” she said.