FORT RILEY, Kan. – It was a big weekend for Missouri Guardsmen Sgt. Brian Hinnen, of Chula, as he took control over gun two for Battery B, 1-129th Field Artillery in Chillicothe.

Hinnen took the reins as a first time section chief overseeing the M777A2 lightweight howitzers on Saturday, Sept. 8 at Fort Riley, Kan. during a live-fire exercise.

"It means quite a bit to me," said Hinnen. "There's quite a bit of responsibility. I was kind of nervous at first, but I had a lot of help from the higher leadership to show me what to do and how to do it safely."

As the section chief, Hinnen is responsible to make sure the mission goes smoothly and the men under him are out of harm's way. He said safety is a huge part of the section chief's role.

"I make sure the mission is safe before it goes down range and all of the personnel are clear when the weapon system goes off and nobody gets hurt," said Hinnen. "We don't want to get anybody hurt. We're here for training and we want things to run smooth."

This new position is a promotion overseeing the howitzer, where he previously served as the gunner and directed the weapon system.

"It seems to be going pretty good so far—I haven't been fired yet," said Hinnen jokingly.
Hinnen has been a Citizen-Soldier for nearly 11 years. He currently farms and owns his own trucking business.