USNA Welcomes New Brigade Commander
POSTED ON: Wednesday, August 31, 2022 8:57 AM by Story by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jordyn Diomede
ANNAPOLIS, Md. – Each academic semester, a new brigade commander is selected to lead more than 4,400 midshipmen within the U.S. Naval Academy (USNA) Brigade of Midshipmen. Midshipman 1st Class (senior) Morgan Prigmore has been selected to lead the brigade for the fall 2022 semester.
A native of Morgantown, Pennsylvania, she has aspired to be an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps since she was 12 years old. Her dad served in the Marine Corps for a few years at the tail end of the Vietnam War, but it was her grandfather, who served in the U.S. Army during WWII, who challenged her to look into attending the U.S. Naval Academy.
“While I was immediately hesitant and had no intent to have this experience, my final promise to him when he passed away my sophomore year of high school was that I would go to the United States Naval Academy,” she said. “I fell in love with this school, and I give some credit to the fact I roomed with former Brigade Commander Sydney Barber her plebe year during my candidates visit weekend in my junior year of high school.”
She said that following in her dad’s footsteps and aspiring to commission into the Marine Corps brings him a lot of pride and joy. Additionally, her family has never had someone serve in the officer ranks within the military. She’s thankful and feels blessed for the opportunity to be on this journey not by herself, but with her dad.
With no intent to apply for the brigade commander position, it was Senior Chief Hospital Corpsman Douglas Herbert, her senior enlisted leader of 3rd Company, who knew Prigmore would be a voice for all midshipmen. He believes Prigmore and her team will do well for the brigade when making decisions at the highest levels. They will place a lot of focus on the people, while improving processes of matters that she's seen, heard from others, or personally felt throughout her time on the deckplates.
“The brigade is getting a leader that will treat everyone with dignity and respect; someone who cares about esprit de corps and building relationships,” he said. “This is someone who will stop everything she is doing this fall, regardless of her duties as brigade commander, if a plebe comes up to her and asks her for advice or for help. She ‘Gives a Ship,’ and she will be one of the best brigade commanders the Naval Academy has ever had.”
The brigade commander holds the highest midshipman leadership position, charged with leading the more than 4,400 students who make up the Brigade of Midshipmen. By instruction, the duties of a brigade commander include executing the policies set forth by Commandant of Midshipmen Col. James P. McDonough and being responsible for maintaining efficiency and morale throughout the Brigade of Midshipmen.
Upon her selection as brigade commander, Prigmore felt as if she wasn’t worthy of the position, but although she is navigating new territory, she knows she needs to believe in herself and just do it.
“I hope that I can provide everyone an opportunity to get involved and then give them the tools to sustain their engagement in the brigade,” she said. “I think we can all agree that our way of life isn't the same as it was prior to COVID. We have some work to do on that end, but at the same time, we have a great opportunity to be innovative and creative in order to create an environment at USNA that is better than it was before the pandemic.”
As she assumes the position as USNA’s newest brigade commander, she wants the brigade to know that her and her staff are learning, but she’s never seen such a strong group that is ready to make change and put in the work and hours to do just that.
“I’m excited, and I hope the brigade is excited for some positive change,” she said.
Throughout her three years at USNA, she noted the academy has lost midshipmen each of those years.
“This summer, we talked a little about legacy with the plebes and how those midshipmen we’ve lost, not everyone might have known them, but they know them through the people who are living out their legacy now,” she said. “I ask every midshipman, every faculty and staff, to live out the legacy of those who came before us, because that’s my goal when I wake up — to do one thing for them every day.”
As Prigmore gears up for the start of her final year at the academy, one thing in her mind remains at the forefront of who she is as a U.S. Naval Academy midshipman.
“You’re never doing it for yourself,” she said. “You’re always doing it for them.”
Category: Midshipman, People