SAN ANGELO, TX, UNITED STATES
Story by Capt. Maria Mengrone
176th Engineer Brigade (TXARNG)
SAN ANGELO, Texas – The Texas Army National Guard welcomed Capt. Amanda Windle as its first female Sapper commander during a change of command ceremony for the 936th Engineer Company based in San Angelo, Texas, June 11, 2017.
The role of females serving in combat engineer positions opened on January 2016, that change allowed women, such as Windle, to serve in positions once available only to men.
“I am excited to see our Soldiers take pride in what they achieve, to ask questions, and challenge them to do their best,” said newly-appointed 936th Engineer Company Commander Capt. Amanda Windle. “It is an honor to both lead and serve alongside my Soldiers and leaders.”
A Sapper unit is a group of highly-skilled 12B combat engineers prepared to lay or clear minefields, field defenses, bridge-build, employ demolitions and perform other engineer tasks expertly.
"Engineer leaders within Texas selected the best candidate to fulfill the 936th command slot, I am confident CPT Windle will exercise her duties and responsibilities in a proficient manner and professionally lead the unit towards achieving its mission and purpose," said Battalion Commander Lt. Col. Matthew Calton of the 111th Engineer Battalion headquarted in Abilene, Texas.
Windle commissioned through the Texas Tech University ROTC program in 2011. In her civilian employment, she is a project engineer for a real estate development firm.
“We have quite a few new Soldiers coming into the unit and we look forward to safely training them to standard,” said Windle.
Soldiers of the unit are moving forward and are prepared for any changes implemented by the new command team.
“I hope that the leaders of the 936th understand their role to ensure the Soldiers now and in the future are taken care of,” said Sgt. 1st Class Stormy Barnum, Readiness Non-Commissioned Officer for the 936th Engineer Company. “If they train their Soldiers properly, through promotions and moves then Soldiers will infect the Texas Army National Guard and make it a better organization.”
There are several Soldiers that hold the coveted Sapper Tab within the unit. Windle looks forward to supporting her Soldiers attending this course in the near future.
The Sapper Leader Course is a grueling 28-day course designed to train joint-service leaders in small unit tactics, leadership skills, and tactics required to perform as part of a combined arms team. Upon successfully completion the Soldier will earn the right to wear a left-shoulder Sapper Tab.
While looking ahead at her own professional growth Windle is also focused on her Soldiers and family.
“I first want to get to know my Soldiers and their backgrounds. I also look forward to meeting their families as well,” said Windle. “My next steps are getting though my command successfully and representing the 111th Engineer Battalion and 176th Engineer Brigade with honor,” said Windle. “I also want to specially thank my family for their continued support.”