JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO – FORT SAM HOUSTON, TX – In 1987, Congress declared March as National Women's History Month in perpetuity. A special presidential proclamation is issued every year which honors their extraordinary achievements to include those who have or are serving in the armed forces.
In 1918, the Secretary of the Navy allowed women to enlist in the Marine Corps for clerical duties. Opha May Johnson then quickly became the first female Marine. Dr. Mary Walker, the only woman to earn the Medal of Honor, is known for saying “Let the generations know that women in uniform also guaranteed their freedom.”
Medical Capability Development Integration Directorate (MED CDID) is fortunate to have dozens of female Soldiers, leaders, and government civilian employees that continue this legacy of significant impacts by women. The female population within MED CDID is dynamic and competent, their contributions are tremendous as they are interwoven into every aspect of what MED CDID and Fielded Force Integration Directorate (FFID) does daily.
One of these proficient and talented women leaders is Karen A. Bagg. Bagg currently serves as the Analysis Division Chief for MED CDID. She leads a dynamic team of 12 personnel which includes, Operational Research Systems Analysis (ORSAs), Statisticians, and a Nurse researcher. The AD mission supports strategic healthcare operations and assesses the operational effectiveness and efficiency of the operational Army Health system (AHS).
Upon arriving to MED CDID, Bagg recognized a lack of data driven analytics to underpin the identification of required medical capabilities and materiel requirements. This need was evident as MED CDID underwent the lengthy process to complete a Force Design Update (FDU) to support the development of a modular Field Hospital. Her ability to identify and leverage data driven analytics to support the Total Army Analysis Process to justify the FDU, and back up the FDU through data and rigor was paramount in the FDU making it to the finish line.
Due to Bagg’s hard work, drive, and insights, data driven analytics now touches every effort that develops at MED CDID and the FFID.
As the Analysis Division continues to grow in strength and impact, her team is leveraged to defend force structure, utilize the DoD Trauma Registry and Deployment database to drive modernization efforts throughout MED CDID and FFID.
According to Bagg, “This is a great mission, and we have a good team that provides great products for CDID, FFID, and the Army as a whole.”
“My service in uniform and as a Department of the Army Civilian has granted me the opportunity to grow beyond what I would have been capable of achieving without service.” Karen A. Bagg, Chief of Analysis Division, MED CDID.
"Karen and her team stand as indispensable catalysts, uplifting and propelling each endeavor in the realm of medical modernization. It is remarkably fitting that we pay tribute to one of our most outstanding leaders during a month that commemorates the achievements of women in service and the importance of Women's History," articulated Col James J. Jones, Director of MED CDID.
Bagg began her service as an Aviation Officer. She served in uniform originally as a Field Artillery Officer before attending flight school and switching over to the Aviation Branch. After staying at home to raise her family, she felt driven to serve again in 2006 when she began her 17 years of Dept of the Army Civilian Service as a Statistician, Health Statistician, and an Operations Research Analyst. Bagg has numerous degrees including her MS in Statistics and has contributed to several professional publications. Of most significance, she is surrounded by numerous family members who have served or are currently serving. Her father, two brothers, spouse, father-in-law, son-in-law, and three of her five children (two daughters and one son) all served in uniform. Her son is currently deployed as an Aviation Officer.
As Bagg eloquently explains, “My service has been a rewarding experience, when I Commissioned there were limited women in Field Artillery and in Flight School. My uniformed and Civil service has afforded me the opportunity to grow and move forward with no limitations. My service allowed me to grow beyond what I thought I could achieve.”
The Army has given Bagg the possibilities to do whatever she aspired to do.