Capt. Gregg Murphy, the commander of Memphis’ 1172nd Transportation 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 be useful when the Tennessee National Guard requested volunteers to work with the COVID-19 task force.
In March 2021, Murphy volunteered and began working as the site lead for the Smith County vaccination center in Carthage. Responsible for all Guardsmen working at the center, he coordinates the military’s support with the Smith County Health Department to provide COVID-19 vaccines throughout the county. He ensures that Guardsmen are properly assisting residents who register for their vaccine, receive them, and are monitored to ensure those vaccinated do not have any adverse reaction.
“It feels good to actively participate in the solution,” said Murphy. “We’re getting a lot of feedback from people saying that our presence has put them at ease, and they trust that the Tennessee National Guard has their best interests in mind.”
Since the Carthage site began providing vaccinations, the Tennessee National Guard has supported the vaccination of over 4,500 citizens in Smith County. Statewide, the Tennessee National Guard has supported the vaccination of over 1 million Tennesseans.
“The Guard is supporting Tennessee’s county health departments in a lot of ways, and one of those ways is through public outreach,” said Murphy. “Building a trusting relationship with the community is critical to serving them better, and we are doing everything we can to do that.”
As the site leader, Murphy is also providing mentorship to the junior Soldiers on his team. He emphasized that taking care of troops is a top priority.
“As leaders, I believe that taking care of Soldiers is critical,” said Murphy. “One of my main responsibilities is to make sure that my Soldiers have everything they need on the site. That way, they can better serve the public and be the professional Soldiers that they are.”