Sergeant First Class Cristin D. Baughman completes a successful set of tours in the foothills of Afghanistan.
This San Antonio, Texas native first hit the ground with the 34th Forward Engineer Support Team-Advanced (FEST-A) as a non-commissioned officer in charge under USACE, U. S. Forces Afghanistan, Bagram Airfield from July 4, 2020 through October 15, 2020. She immediately poised herself in October 2020 to spearhead operations in Kuwait for the Transatlantic Afghanistan District, setting founding conditions to continue delivering an $815 M program during retrograde operations.
SFC Baughman was instrumental in developing and implementing logistical and life support systems during a global pandemic that enabled continuous program delivery without degradation.
“The impacts and accomplishments of SFC Baughman made a lasting impression for the Transatlantic District and Division for years to come,” said Transatlantic Afghanistan District Commander, Col. Mark Geraldi.
Baughman was awarded the Joint Service Medal and Army Commendation Medal for her enduring efforts in support of engineering and construction efforts in Afghanistan.
Though this was not her first deployment for this active duty Soldier of 15 years of service, this was her first deployment with the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, coming from the Seattle District.
“I was offered the opportunity to come to USACE after completing my previous assignment as a platoon sergeant at Fort Carson, Colorado,” Baughman said. According to Baughman one of the most rewarding parts of her job was being able to assist others with getting settled in a new, unfamiliar environment and being able to build relationships with so many diverse people.
“A deployed community is a very close-knit team and we all do our part to keep morale high,” she said noting that along with the tedious work involved there is also a lot more fun because of the camaraderie of the deployed team.
Being a Soldier is a true honor and Baughman credits her grandfather Rudy who always encouraged her to do her best and to not be afraid of trying new things. She wears her Army colors with lots of pride and what motivates her she says is being a positive role model for her two young daughters.
When asked if she had any special talents Baughman mentioned that she can play the violin.
She reflected on her first job ever which was while she was in high school. “I still remember how stressful it was when we would run out of bananas midday on a Sunday and people would freak out and yell at me when I told them no more banana splits,” she said. As she says she is much more capable of dealing with way more than no bananas for someone’s dessert now.
As we put a wrap on the Women within our ranks during Women’s History Month she was asked the significance Women’s History Month has on her. Her reply, “I am standing on the shoulders of giants and I do not take lightly the advances in freedom that women have today.”
The women in her life who have and are great influences in her life are her mother and grandmother who taught her that hard work and determination to a much longer way than most people are willing to believe.
And speaking of believing, this Soldier sends this message to young women everywhere who are thinking about becoming a member of the military.
“I would say go for it and don’t sell yourself short. The opportunities available for women in the military are more abundant than at any other time in history. The only thing that can hold you back is yourself. Be willing to challenge yourself. Shoot for the moon and even if you don’t quite make it, you will still land among the stars,” she said.
For Baughman as she wraps up yet another deployment she says the military has provided her with the ability to travel, meet and work with people from all walks of life, experience different countries cultures, and operate in dynamic environments, many times on foreign soil.
“The military has enriched my life while providing me the stability to raise a family, Baughman said.