Generations of service

Father, a military veteran, swears in his son as an Army officer
Sunday, July 15, 2007 | 2:00 a.m. CDT; updated 3:14 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Lt. Col. Edward “Mike” Riggs pins shoulder bars onto the uniform of his son, 2nd Lt. Christopher Riggs, after swearing him in as an officer in the Army. At the ceremony, 2nd Lt. Riggs learned of his assignment to Fort Polk, La., where he will begin his training in the military police.

‘Always take your office seriously and wear that uniform with pride.”

That was the first order Christopher Riggs received after being sworn in as an officer in the Army on Saturday morning. What was unusual about this order was that it came from his father.

Lt. Col. Edward “Mike” Riggs, commander of the Missouri Army National Guard’s 311th Brigade Support Battalion in Lexington took the opportunity to administer the oath of office to his son Christopher, commissioning him as a second lieutenant. The ceremony took place on the steps of Crowder Hall, where the ROTC is located on the MU campus.

Christopher, 23, of St. Joseph, recently graduated from MU with a degree in history and minors in military science and journalism. During his time at the university, Christopher was active in the ROTC. Prior to that, he was enlisted in the Army National Guard.

“He is a dedicated cadet, a leader and well respected among his peers,” ROTC’s Capt. Lindsey Decker said during the ceremony.

“I didn’t push him,” said Lt. Col. Riggs, who joined the Army when he was 17-years-old. After three years of active duty, he joined the Army National Guard. “He expressed an interest, I showed him the different branches of the military and he chose the Army.”

“I pretty much grew up with the military life,” Christopher said. “I saw the difference (my father) made around people as an officer and decided that was what I wanted to do.”

Christopher received his first active duty assignment at the ceremony and is scheduled to leave for Fort Polk, La., in February. He said his ultimate goal is to join the Army Special Forces.

“I’m proud of him,” Lt. Col. Riggs said. “He understands what he’s doing.”

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