Diversity & Inclusion Spotlight: Sgt. Emma Briggs






Cpl. Emma Briggs made history in 2013 when she was among the first females to graduate from the Army's 91A Abrams tank maintainers course. Now the only female in her Ohio Army National Guard unit, Briggs is valued by her company leadership for her dedication as a noncommissioned officer as well as her technical expertise in a career field traditionally populated by males. (NOTE: Since this video was originally produced, Briggs has been promoted to the rank of sergeant)


Ohio home to nationís first female tank mechanic

By Ohio National Guard Public Affairs

Sgt. Emma Briggs consults with a tank crew as she prepares for repairs during drill with Company C, 1st Battalion, 145th Armored Regiment at Camp Ravenna Joint Military Training Center, near Newton Falls Ohio. Briggs made history in August 2013 when she became one of the first women to graduate from the 91A Abrams Tank System Maintainer course. (Photos by Staff Sgt. George B. Davis, ONG)

Sgt. Emma Briggs works inside an M-1 Abrams tank.

ALLIANCE, Ohio (08/25/16) — There’s a lot someone learns working on a tank. As the first female tank mechanic in the nation, Ohio Army National Guard Sgt. Emma Briggs is constantly learning.

“I really do like the team aspect of working together with all the guys trying to get stuff done. I really enjoy figuring stuff out,” Briggs said.

She spends her drill weekends with Company C, 1st Battalion, 145th Armored Regiment,  making sure the Ohio made M-1 Abrams tank, more than 60 tons of military battle machine, is ready for duty.

“A lot of stuff can break inside that tank,” said 1st Sgt. Daniel Fortney. “That tank goes down, I rely on noncommissioned officers like Briggs to get that piece of equipment fixed, analyzed, trouble shot and then back into the fight.”

These are changing times. There will be 75 to 100 Soldiers in the field with her during a training weekend and she says she is usually the only woman. “The whole women in combat arms is just so new to everybody and I think the units are still trying to figure out how to properly integrate females,” Briggs said.  “I’ve been with this unit and these guys for about a year and a half and they’re really good, they’re very respectful. I’ve never had an issue.”

“She’s a great NCO, she leads by example, we can give her a task and she completes it. Her subordinates look up to her,” Fortney said. “(They) follow her lead. I can give her a mission, her platoon sergeant can give her a mission, and we know it will be taken care of.”

There is a lot to learn inside of an $8.5 million tank. Briggs has also learned about herself.
“You can’t be afraid to get your hands on anything — even if somebody is doubting your ability or questioning what you know — you can’t be afraid to get up there and do it,” she said.

Read more on Briggs becoming one of the Army’s first female tank maintainers.

Since this piece was originally produced, Briggs has been promoted to the rank of sergeant.


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