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The NYC Veterans Oral History Project: Kristen Rouse

October 10, 2013

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Captain Kristen L. Rouse has served in the U.S. Army for more than nineteen years, from her early years as an enlisted supply specialist and non-commissioned officer in the Army Reserve and later the 10th Mountain Division, Light Infantry, and more recently as a commissioned logistics officer in the Army National Guard. She has led troops and logistical missions during three tours in Afghanistan for a total of 31 months of deployments. She spent nine months deployed as the only female officer attached to an infantry battalion, where she served as her unit’s primary liaison to an Afghan National Army unit and was second-in-command of a company providing resupply convoys and maintenance support for infantrymen. She has been awarded four Army Achievement medals, four Army Commendation medals, and the Bronze Star medal.  She is a logistics planner with the New York City Office of Emergency Management and also a member of the Truman National Security Project Defense Council. She writes at You can follow her on Twitter. The opinions stated here are her own.


Interview Audio Log:

  • 10:40 – PV2 to Sargeant to Staff Sargeant by end of 10 years in unit; being an E5 – a sergeant; most responsibility
  • 14:00 – Experiencing unfolding of military after 9/11
  • 17:20 – Finishing graduate school; requesting from commander to sign up for active duty; Getting assigned to 10th Mountain Division and reclassified from medical to unit supply
  • 20:30 – 12 months deployed to Afghanistan; duties related to equipment supply; medical unit involvement
  • 26:20 – In April/May – fighting became bad; Hearing about casualties; Helping injured soldiers
  • 28:30 – “Everything you do is important”; everyone has important duties
  • 29:15 – Staying touch with other people in unit; Importance of social networking for deployed soldiers
  • 32:25 – What daily life/living conditions were like; first deployment lived in supply room; use of plywood as building material; comparison to other bases
  • 37:00 – What she is doing now – in National Guard last six years; worked for city in Emergency Management for last five years
  • 43:26 – Words of wisdom for others who are considering joining army
  • 47:35 – For future generations – thinking about assumptions others have of war/politics of joining army; service is “not political”