Staff Sgt. Laquawanda Bagley, 32, wears many hats. One of four women in her company, the intelligence analyst adheres to a strong leadership style. When she’s home in the states, her 3-year old son, Xavier, just calls her “mom.”
Bagley is deployed to Iraq with Headquarters Headquarters Company, Task Force 2-7, 1st Heavy Combat Brigade Team, 3rd Infantry Division. She will redeploy to Fort Stewart in December.
“Staff Sgt. Bagley is responsible for a staff of about eight soldiers who conduct 24-hour information gathering on the enemy situation,” said 1st Brigade public affairs officer Capt. Curt Schultheis. “Her job is highly critical because the information she gathers is what helps shape any operations we conduct with our Iraqi Army Counterparts. Her shop also controls all the requests for UAV (unmanned aerial vehicles) for our unit, which has been and is a critical component to the overall mission as we enter Operation New Dawn.”
Bagley is a staff sergeant in a position slotted for a sergeant first class.
“I was shocked when I got the call from the Sgt. Major saying that he wanted me to take this position,” she said, admitting to having “some reservations at first” because her company is male-dominated.
But, she says she took the attitude “they are all soldiers and deserve great leadership.”
Bagley recently came back into the military.
“I’ve gained a lot of knowledge in these two years (in intelligence),” she said. “I have a lot of great soldiers that share their knowledge as well.” Her commanding officers have also made her transition to her new career field easier, Bagley added. She was a recruiter during her previous active duty experience.
Bagley first joined the military in 1996 and served on active duty for eight years. Although she was in the reserves following her active duty time, she says she missed the military and with her husband Patrick’s support, returned to the regular Army.
Bagley said she’s not worried about her little boy, who is in the capable hands of her civilian husband. “He’s in North Carolina with our son. He’s potty training and all that. He’s doing a good job,” she said.
Bagley said she and her husband plan to take a family trip to Jamaica once she redeploys. Because her son is so active, they might take a cruise instead of flying to their tropical vacation spot.
“He’s be happier being able to run around, and so will we,” she said.
Editor’s note: This is the seventh installment in a series profiling the men and women of the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division now deployed to Iraq.