Introducing this year's Grand Marshals!
Lynn & Linda Higgins
Linda entered military service on October 18, 1977 being assigned to the 19thSpecial Forces Group (Airborne), Utah Army National Guard. She was trained as a military analyst and being assigned to the 19thSF, Linda was required to attend the U. S. Army Airborne School where, after successful completion the first time through, she was awarded her army jump wings.
Linda completed Army Officer Candidate School in 1980 and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Army Adjutant General Corp. Linda later completed a second officer branch qualification in the Ordinance Branch in 1981of which she served in for the remainder of her career.
Linda’s military service includes assignments in Personnel Administration, as a Heavy Equipment Maintenance Control Officer, Executive Officer of Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment , Utah State Headquarters Area Command, State Area Regional Command (STARC), Logistics Officer for Army Garrison Camp Williams, Utah, Comptroller for Headquarters Utah STARC, Training Officer Headquarters STARC and Training Officer and Operations Officer for the Utah Military Academy (UMA), UTARNG.
During Linda’s 28 years of service she Commanded the 115thHeavy Equipment Maintenance Company, Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, Utah STARC, 2ndBattalion, 140thGeneral Support Battalion, 97thTroop Command, and the 640thRegional Training Institute (RTI). Linda served as the commander of the 128thPublic Affairs Detachment during its deployment in support of Operation Joint Endeavor in Bosnia.
Linda is a graduate of the Adjutant General Officer Basic Course, the Ordinance Officer Advanced Course and the U. S. Army Command and General Staff College and has a Bachelor’s Degree in General Studies from Columbia College.
Linda is the first non-Medical Service Corp female to rise to the rank of Colonel in the Utah Army National Guard. Linda is also the first Utah Army National Guard soldier to wear the Army Maternity Uniform.
Lynn entered regular active duty for the U. S. Army five weeks after graduating from Provo High School in 1969. Upon completion of Basic Combat Training and Warrant Officer Rotary Wing Aviator Training, he deployed to Vietnam where he was assigned to an Air Cavalry Troop as an Aero Scout pilot flying the OH-6A helicopter.
At the completion of his Vietnam service, he was released from active duty and returned to Utah to continue his service part-time with the Utah Army National Guard while attending BYU. Lynn was later hired full-time as a Flight Instructor for the National Guard, wherein he was instrumental in establishing the Attack Helicopter and Aero Scout programs and the 19th Special Forces Aviation program. During this time, Lynn was an instructor for rotary and fixed wing aircraft.
In 1989 Lynn left the full-time Guard force but continued as a Standardization Instructor for the 1250th Medical Company (Air Ambulance) as a Traditional Guardsman. He later instructed in the UH-60 A/L helicopter with A Company, 2-211th Aviation Battalion. Lynn went to work full-time for the Federal Aviation Administration as an Aviation Safety Inspector working with helicopter and airplane operators specializing in emergency medical operations, night vision goggle operations, Lear Jets, and all small general aviation aircraft.
Though Lynn was a part-time soldier, he often took leave from his full-time job to fight wild land fires throughout the west, support a humanitarian mission in Nicaragua for five months, deploy to Louisiana to support hurricanes Katrina and Rita disaster relief, fly for numerous local support and training support missions, and deploy for 18 months as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom, where he primarily planned and led night air assault missions against hostile forces. Upon return from Iraq, Lynn worked for the FAA for eight months until he was asked to return to full-time service with the National Guard as the Deputy State Army Aviation Officer and Standardization Officer on the Adjutant General’s staff. Lynn served in this capacity until his mandatory retirement in 2010, and always “flew the line” until the very end.
Lynn currently serves as a volunteer Certified Peer Support Specialist at the Salt Lake City Veterans Affairs Medical Center as a member of the PTSD Clinical Team. Linda and Lynn are both volunteer Employer Outreach Coordinators for the Department of Defense, Office of Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve.
Linda and Lynn live in Alpine and have four children: Joshua, Dax, Christopher and Nikole. Linda stated upon Lynn’s last deployment, “We owe a debt to those who have gone before us. We love our country and we’re grateful that our kids have grown up knowing how important that is.”