MANHATTAN, Kan. -- The Kansas State woman's basketball head coach Jeff Mittie and his coaching staff offered a warm welcome to the 'Durable' brigade May 14 at Bramlage Coliseum. Mittie, who signed on March 18 with the Kansas State women's program, said he and his team are excited about the team's partnership with the 1st Sustainment Brigade.

Mittie, whose son recently enrolled at the United States Naval Academy, said he and his staff are looking forward to working with the 'Durable' brigade and Fort Riley. "I'd love to get the team out there more and more," Mittie said.

The 'Durable' Brigade has carried on a community partnership with the team that started in September 2009 and the event marked the beginning of a new era with the team's new head coach and staff members.

The event gave the 'Durable' team a chance to get better acquainted with new friends at Kansas State. Coach Mittie brings 15 years of head coaching experience from Texas Christian University to Kansas State and with him are Associate Head Coach Brian Ostermann and Assistant Coach Ebony Gilliam both from TCU.

For Ostermann coming to Manhattan was familiar territory after coaching at The University of Missouri Kansas City before teaming up with Mittie at TCU. He said he and his team are setting out to build trusting relationships among the team's organization.

"Just learning is pretty awesome, Ostermann said. "I'm anxious to participate with the student athletes. These young ladies had a great spring."

A key to fostering elements in the evolution of trust is communication Ostermann said. "We spend a lot of time communicating with each other," he said.

Ostermann said that he looks forward to working with the 'Durable' Brigade and that the partnership will be beneficial for his team and staff. "Players learn a lot of things impactful for their lives as well as the coaches," he said.

Just as Coach Mittie has taken the reins as head of his team's organization, the 'Durable' brigade welcomed its new Community Partnership Officer, 1st Lt. Adriane Armour.
"I am really excited about working with KSU and going to the games," Armour said. "Starting as the CPO at the same time as Coach Mittie comes to KSU sets the stage for success."

After lunch, Armour got a chance to speak one-on-one with coach Mittie, opening up the opportunity for future events.

"It was nice to hear him talk about wanting to provide a day camp for military families to meet the team," she said. "It's going to be a fun summer and good partnership."

For Armour teaming up with the Kansas State women's basketball team has been a highlight for her as the 'Durable' brigade's CPO.

"I have already met some of the most welcoming people in the area. And, I've only been on the job for a few weeks," she said.

"Getting out and talking with school and business leaders has shown me that they support us and welcome us in their towns and schools. I'm looking forward to getting to building new relationships and continuing others," Armour said.