Capt. Brian Forshee said he wanted to join the Army as far back as he can remember.
“It was just always something I wanted to do,” Forshee said.
Serving in the military was a legacy that went back for generations in the Forshee Family.
“I have – I don’t know how many greats – but my great-great-great-grandfather’s discharge from the Civil War,” Forshee said. “My father was in Vietnam. His father was in World War II. So, it’s just kind of a Family tradition.”
Forshee has been the commander, Headquarters and Headquarters Company and the 1st Replacement Company, U.S. Army Garrison Fort Riley, for about a year.
“The thing I like most about this job and being a commander is getting the chance to re-enlist Soldiers - or promote Soldiers. Just getting to be around Soldiers is a great thing for me,” Forshee said, adding he also enjoys “being able to positively influence Soldiers and make decisions that serve their best interest.”
Forshee’s position with USAG has provided another learning opportunity.
“I’ve never been off the so-called gun line,” he said. “It’s quite different, but that’s a good thing because it’s made me more diverse, and I get to see a whole different side of the Army.”
In his role, Forshee has worn two hats.
“One is (administrative) for HHC, USAG, which oversees all the civilian directorates and civilian agencies that make Fort Riley the great place that it is,” Forshee said. “That’s a small (part) of what I do. The second part to my command is the 1st Replacement (Co.), and that takes up most of my time. That’s where we try to put the ‘Big Red One’ brand on all of the Soldiers – give them a great first impression.”
All Soldiers who get stationed at Fort Riley come through in-processing.
“Every day is a new day for somebody,” Forshee said. “It’s a 24/7 operation. The doors never close. When (Soldiers) leave the 1st Replacement Co., our goal is that they’re 100 percent ready to go train and at their unit, and that their Families are taken care of, all their administrative needs are taken care of, and that they’re just ready to hit the ground running.
“I had a great time being a commander here. I had a great boss in (Garrison Commander) Col.
Forshee and his Family have enjoyed their time at Fort Riley.
“It’s a great place to be,” Forshee said about Fort Riley. “The communities here – Manhattan and Junction City – are very Soldier-friendly.”
Forshee enlisted in February 1995, about 18 years ago. Fort Riley was his first duty station, where he served with the 1st Battalion, 5th Field Artillery Regiment, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, for about five years.
After that, Forshee was stationed at Fort Bragg, N.C., and Fort Benning, Ga. At Fort Benning, Forshee’s commander encouraged him and three of his fellow drill sergeants to put in packets for Officer Candidate School. Forshee was accepted, commissioned and returned to Fort Riley in 2008.
“He really helped out and changed the lives of all four of us for the good,” Forshee said.
The transition from noncommissioned officer to commissioned officer presented a learning experience, one Forshee embraced.
“It’s definitely a different job, different role,” Forshee said. “I got to know the enlisted side of the house, and, then, I got to come to the officer side and experience that as well, so it’s been great. I have no regrets about doing that.”
Forshee deployed to Iraq in 2008 with the 1st Battalion, 7th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Inf. Div. Upon his return to Fort Riley, he completed his degree in social science at Kansas State University, before heading to the Captain’s Career Course at Fort Sill, Okla. Forshee returned to Fort Riley and was assigned as a company commander for HHC, 1st Repl. Co., USAG, in February 2012.
Forshee’s parting advice for incoming commander Capt. Michael McCoy is to enjoy his time with the Soldiers and meet as many people across the directorates as possible.
“It’s a unique place,” he said. “You have the latitude to go out and do all kinds of things and meet all kinds of people and see how things function on Fort Riley at the garrison – what drives Fort Riley.”
Forshee will be returning to the 1st Bn., 5th FA Regt., 1st ABCT, 1st Inf. Div.
“I’m going back to the very first unit I came to, which is really neat,” Forshee said.
Forshee met his wife, Stacey, in high school. The couple recently celebrated their 20th anniversary in September. Forshee has three sons, the eldest of which is in the Army and stationed in Alaska, and one daughter. Forshee said he enjoys hunting and fishing with his sons and spending time with his Family.
By Julie Fiedler
1st Inf. Div. Post
Capt. Brian Forshee, outgoing commander, HHC, USAG, sits at his desk during a typical workday Jan. 8 on Main Post. Forshee relinquished his duties as the commander of HHC, USAG, during a Jan. 16 change of command ceremony. He will now return to his roots with the 1st Bn., 5th FA Regt.
Julie Fiedler | POST