Lt. Col. Brian Keith Weisgram is the new commander for the White Sands Missile Range McAfee Health Clinic. He has served in the Army in several different capacities for the past 23 years.
Where are you from and where is home for you?
Home is Valier, Montana, near Glacier National Park in northern Montana. That’s where I was born and raised.
There are 240 people in a 250 mile radius, we were 100 miles away from the nearest Wal-Mart.
Who are your family members?
I’ve been married for 20 years to my wife, Tanya, we met in college in Minnesota. My oldest daughter is 15, she’ll be a sophomore at a high school in Las Cruces. My youngest will be a sixth grader here at White Sands. We also have a 2-year-old Shih Tzu by the name of Sadie, she is a true house dog.
When you were younger what did you aspire to be?
Initially I wanted to be a lawyer, our hometown was volunteer based so I went to Emergency Medical Technician training while in college, to volunteer when I came back home, and I ended up transferring to a nursing major. When I was home on breaks I volunteered as an EMT.
What led you to the Army?
It was kind of on a whim. My roommate was enrolled in Reserve Officers’ Training Corps and told me to try it out.
Twenty-three years later I’m still here. I had no idea what I was getting myself into but they paid for my college. I received a bachelor’s degree and graduated from Critical Care Nursing School.
Do you have any stories you would like to share from your time in the Army?
When I was deployed overseas as a flight nurse for injured patients there was a terrible terrorist incident. We received 100 patients at one time and on the last flight of the night I had a super-critical patient and we had to move her from my location to another location. If we flew too high she would get really sick so we were flying really low.
I heard the word, “camel,” on my headphones and all of a sudden we fly straight up and back down. Apparently we had to move higher at one point because we would have hit a camel since we were flying so low. The good news is she survived and was able to return home to her family.
What have you learned from previous leadership roles?
During my time in the Intensive Care Unit, I learned that someone is putting their life in your hands.
Always do what is right for the patient and with the utmost integrity.
Is there anyone who helped guide you to where you are today?
You have different people at different levels. Col. Judy Bock, an Army anesthetist for 29 years was a consummate professional. She showed me the humility of leadership and how to do things as a professional and officer, both medically and military-wise. Martin Stobeda, a civilian director for the United States Army Recruiting Command Headquarters, he taught me humanity in leading and dedicating yourself.
What do you and your family like to do for fun or on the weekends?
We like going to the movies but with both kids being so active in sports we end up following the kids to sporting events and competitions.
My oldest already made it into varsity cheerleading, she got in before we even got here through a video tryout, and my youngest is in gymnastics and volleyball.
What do you like to do for fun during your spare time?
I enjoy reading and the ability to spend time with my family.
How do you feel about coming to WSMR?
I’m loving it, it’s a small community and it’s a family community. The resources and people are beyond world class, they’ve welcomed us into their homes. I feel truly humbled by being board selected to come here for command.
What do you hope to accomplish while you’re at White Sands Missile Range?
McAfee has done incredible things and have provided world class healthcare.
I’m trying to do the right thing every day. If I can make it better than when I came in, it would have been a good command for me.