Aviation Soldier phones in her work to make fellow troops famous
Story by David Altom, Kentucky National Guard Public Affairs Office.
NOTE: Each week kentuckyguard.com publishes stories by or about Kentucky National Guard unit public affairs historian representatives, also known as UPAHRs. This is an additional duty taken on by a Soldier or Airmen with the intent of telling their unit’s story. This is one such story ….
FORT KNOX, Ky. – As a human resource specialist for the Kentucky National Guard, Spc. Christina Riddle has a passion for helping Soldiers with personnel issues and problems that affect their career and welfare.
Riddle also serves as a supply specialist for Company B, 351st Aviation, where she ensures the troops have what they need for their missions and their training.
But that’s not all she does. Riddle took on the dubious extra position as the Unit Public Affairs Historian Representative, or UPAHR, where she takes on the task of telling the story of her fellow troops, to “make them famous.”
When Riddle saw an opportunity to tell her unit’s story, she seized the day … and the opportunity.
“When I was asked to attend the annual UPAHR training by my training NCO to take photos of my unit, I eagerly agreed,” said Riddle. “However, after informing others of the training, I was asked ‘who did you make angry?’”
Riddle quickly set aside any doubts about her new responsibilities once she attended the training in Greenville.
“Not only did I meet so many new people from other units, I also learned more than I could ever know about the Kentucky Guard,” she said. “I’ve only been in for four years, so knowing the history of what I represent is amazing to me.”
Her new responsibilities gave her a new perspective on what means to be in the Guard.
“After learning that it is now my job to show others what I see and what we do is an honor,” she said.
Riddle’s first assignment was covering her unit’s weekend training at Fort Knox. She was issued a complete set of professional quality photography gear, but found the responsibility for the state of the art gear intimidating.
“I was so nervous about damaging it that I left it locked in the van,” she said with a laugh.
Her decision put her in a spot once she saw the troops getting into the spirit of the training. Not one to let an opportunity to pass her by, the new UPAHR pulled out her cell phone and started taking pictures.
“I was actually excited to think I could get the state of the art equipment to do this, but it’s not about the equipment,” she said. “My first trip with my unit as the UPAHR this past weekend proved that. It’s the people. It’s not just me, but the Soldiers. Without them there wouldn’t be a picture!”
“It’s amazing from to be able to capture what I get to see as a Soldier and show my pictures to my husband and children and have them actually understand what we do.”
For her next assignment Riddle will consider using her issued equipment. If her skills with a cell phone are any indication, she ought to do her unit proud.