Memphis Guardsman exemplifies leadership during COVID-19 mission

CARTHAGE, Tennessee – Captain Gregg Murphy, commander of the 1172nd Memphis Transport Company, is no stranger to organizing complex tasks. A soldier with years of logistics experience and a degree in organizational management, he knew his skills would come in handy when the Tennessee National Guard called for volunteers to work with the COVID-19 task force.

In March 2021, Murphy volunteered and began working as a site manager for the Smith County Vaccination Center in Carthage. Responsible for all guards working at the center, he coordinates military support with the Smith County Health Department to provide COVID-19 vaccines throughout the county. He makes sure the guards properly assist residents who sign up for their vaccine, receive it, and are monitored to make sure those vaccinated do not have an adverse reaction.

“It feels good to be an active part of the solution,” Murphy said. “We get a lot of feedback from people saying that our presence has made them feel comfortable, and they trust the Tennessee National Guard has their best interests in mind.”

Since the Carthage site began providing immunizations, the Tennessee National Guard has supported the immunizations of more than 4,500 Smith County citizens. Statewide, the Tennessee National Guard has supported the vaccination of more than one million Tennessee.

“The Guard supports Tennessee County Health Services in many ways, and one of those ways is public education,” Murphy said. “Building a relationship of trust with the community is essential to serve them better, and we are doing everything possible to do so. “

As the site leader, Murphy also provides mentorship to the junior soldiers on his team. He stressed that taking care of the troops is a top priority.

“As leaders, I think taking care of soldiers is essential,” Murphy said. “One of my main responsibilities is to make sure my soldiers have everything they need on site. That way, they can better serve the public and be the professional soldiers that they are.

Captain Gregg Murphy, a transport officer with the 1172nd Memphis Transport Company, sets up a COVID-19 vaccination station in Carthage on May 20. (Photo by Sgt. Finis L. Dailey, III)

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