Northwest Military Blogs: Army West Blog

July 13, 2017 at 11:43am

Soldier reaches milestone

Army Reserve Capt. Trista Budzynski, Transportation Officer, 364th Expeditionary Sustainment Command, was honored as the 2016 U.S. Army Reserve’s Transportation Regimental Corps Officer of the Year July 12 at Fort Lee. Photo credit: Capt. Andrew Daane

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Army Reserve Capt. Trista Budzynski, a transportation officer with the Washington state-based 364th Expeditionary Sustainment Command, was honored yesterday as the 2016 U.S. Army Reserve's Transportation Regimental Corps Officer of the Year.

Headquartered in Marysville, the 364th ESC has command and control of more than 40 Army Reserve units located in seven states. It has three subordinate brigade-level units: 96th Sustainment Brigade, located in Salt Lake City, Utah; 652nd Regional Support Group, headquartered in Helena, Montana; and 654th Regional Support Group, in Tacoma.

So what exactly does it take for a young junior officer to reach this milestone?

In an interview with Budzynski during the 364th ESC's annual training this week, I expected to see an exhausted soldier, knowing she had just finished a 12-hour assignment as the officer-in-charge of the 364th ESC M16 qualification range. She appeared sunburnt but surprisingly full of energy. As the interview continued it became clear her seemingly unlimited supply of energy and perpetual positive attitude contributed to her success as a Transportation Officer in the United States Army Reserves (USAR).

Her ability to successfully plan and execute strategic airlifts by coordinating, tracking and confirming the airlift of equipment and supplies from the United States to Poland during exercise Anakonda 2016, aided in her rising above her peers and earning this distinction.

When asked about how she was able to bring about these accomplishments, she referenced family as her major source of inspiration. With a supporting husband and two young children at home, they offer her support like no one else can.

"Nothing is a bigger stress reliever than hearing a baby laugh," she explained. Whether it is coming home to her baby laughing, or her husband listening to the frustrations of the day, she attributes much of her success to them. Her family understands she serves in the U.S. Army out of a sense of duty, and honors that commitment.

The transportation field is a demanding, fast-paced job. One of Budzynski's secrets to success is stress management and always maintaining a positive attitude whenever possible. "When I'm stressed out, I try and remain optimistic, which allows people to work around you more and want to work with you," she said.

Given transportation missions are often collaborative in nature, this is one of the most valuable traits she focuses on. She also possesses an energetic nature, which allows her to be proactive and anticipate obstacles that lie ahead, rather than simply react. "I'm an active person with a lot of energy and I have to expend it," she said.

In the end, being named the USAR Transportation Officer of the Year has to do with task completion, mission execution and furthering the reputation of the Transportation Corps as a whole through leadership. The entire chain of command holds Budzynski as a performer who leads from the front.

Perhaps her colleague Capt. Lane Wheeler described her performance best when he stated, "Captain Budzynski displays a never-ending persistence to ensure soldiers are provided the logistical resources they need to be successful. She has developed an array of logistical tools, techniques and procedures ... (that) are constantly being assessed and refined to ensure she continues to meet the challenges impressed upon her by the complex mission of the 364th ESC."

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