Brian R. Haebig ’82, a U.S. Army colonel who commands the 404th Army Field Support Brigade in Fort Lewis, Wash., returned to Wisconsin Nov. 14 to speak at the annual banquet of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) in Green Bay.
The banquet is an annual event for all cadets and cadre from the Fox River ROTC Battalion, commanded by Lt. Col. Daryl Tackett and headquartered at UW Oshkosh. Cadets who attended represented UW Oshkosh, UW-Green Bay, St. Norbert College, Marian College and Ripon College.
A native of Oshkosh, Haebig also played a special role during a half-time tribute to veterans at the Nov. 16 Green Bay Packers – Chicago Bears game. He administered the oath of enlistment to more than 100 Wisconsinites who have signed up for the Army.
“I’ve given the oath of enlistment scores of time, but I’ve never administered it in front of 70,000 Packers fans,” he said.
Haebig’s weekend in his home state offered a great opportunity to return to talk to future Army officers and soldiers.
“The Army really wants to bring some hometown folks back to talk about our careers — and the good as well as the tough parts of being a soldier,” he said.
A political science graduate, Haebig said UW Oshkosh provided a firm foundation for his career.
“I gained a world perspective,” he said. “Farouk Sankari was by far the most influential instructor that I had.”
Details he learned in UW Oshkosh classes about Middle Eastern life were considerably different than what he witnessed in the main stream media, he said.
“After spending time in the Middle East, I learned that the plight and hardships of groups Professor Sankari talked about were true,” he said. “I was better able to relate to the historical underpinnings of the area.”
He added that the Army has given him an opportunity to assist people who really needed it — especially in Bosnia and Afghanistan.
The best part of his Army career – which he began three years after his UW Oshkosh graduation – was meeting his wife, an Army nurse, and raising his four children. The oldest, now a sophomore in high school, hopes to follow in his father’s footsteps by attending UW Oshkosh.
Haebig commands approximately 50 soldiers, approximately 200 government civilians and more than 1,000 contractors. His brigade has five battalions in Alaska, Hawaii, Arizona, California and Fort Lewis, Wash.