Kristina Treece arrived as the firstborn child of Heather and John Treece in 1994. Her early years were spent in Findlay, Ohio but when her parents divorced, Kristina moved with her mother and siblings to Fremont Ohio.
Kristina describes herself as an average student in high school where her favorite class was US Government because the teacher made the lessons come alive for the students. Kristina was a member of the school track and field team as well as the cross-country team. She ran the 400-meter, 1 mile, 2 mile and 3.1-mile events with the 400 being her strongest event. “I loved to run, it was quiet and calmed me down.” She graduated from Fremont High School in 2013.
When asked about her plans were for after high school, Kristina states, “I had always wanted to join the military immediately after I graduated. My grandfathers and an uncle had all served in the military. I wanted to be the first female in my family to serve.”
Her first branch choice was the Marine Corps, but a medical issue disqualified her from that option. In 2015 Kristina enlisted in the Army after the medical issue had been cleared, choosing to become an 88Mike, military truck driver. She notes she barely made height requirements as she was a whopping 4’11 inches tall and weighed 96 pounds!
In August of 2015 Kristina arrived at Ft Leonard Wood Missouri to start her basic training. Her clearest memories of the first few days was “all the screaming and pushups!” “I did question, why did I do this!?”, she stated.
Even though Kristina had been raised in a house full of siblings she was not prepared for the lack of privacy. “I was always one of the last to shower, made no eye contact. It was really hard.”
“The positive side of basic for me was that it opened my mind to see the potential that I had inside.”
Her years of running track and cross country paid off as she had built up the endurance to do the countless runs and marches. She did struggle with one issue, that was being the shortest soldier in her unit. “I was the flag bearer, always out front, marching as fast as my short legs would go with the tall people behind yelling at me to pick up the pace!”
Kristina was part of a coed unit trained by two male and one female drill instructor. She quickly realized the methods the drill instructors used to “break you down to rebuild you.” They would act friendly, get to know details about each individual recruit and then use those details against them. “My biggest personal issue was that I couldn’t help smiling or laughing when I was getting yelled at! That never ended well!” “Though I kept to myself I did gain a great friend, Swank who I am still friends with.” Kristina was proud of earning a Marksman rating on the firing range with the M4.
After graduation from basic in August of 2015 Kristina received orders to AIT 88Mike truck driver training which “unfortunately” was also held at Ft. Leonard Wood. Driving a truck was a major new life experience. “Back home I had been driving a crappy 97 Grand Am.” In AIT Kristina was quickly introduced to the Army’s LMTV, (2.5-ton Light Medium Tactical Vehicle), a 4×4 troop transport truck with an automatic transmission. After she mastered the single chassis truck, the soldiers were next trained on the M915, 14-ton semi-tractor. “It was hard to learn how to “straight back” the trailer at first.” This was the main vehicle used by 88M drivers as it was tasked with resupplying units both in the US and when deployed abroad. Kristina explained that the job became a bit more difficult when they were put in combat simulations driving armor plated M915’s with narrow slots to see through when driving and due to the heavier weight was less responsive to the driver.
After successfully completing AIT and a visit home in 2016, Pvt. Kristina Treece was ordered to the 594th Transportation Company which supports the 101st Airborne Division at Ft. Campbell Kentucky. This is the last remaining 915 unit in the active Army. “Our company consisted 200 drivers of which maybe 10 were women and approximately 50 truck units. Some of the male soldiers and some NCO’s did not like female drivers making things “toxic” at times.”
“I learned to keep my head down, do the best job possible and the 594th was very good at promoting soldiers who excelled in their duties.” Kristina was promoted fairly quickly due to her skills and scores becoming a Spec 4 in 2018.
In her off-duty time, Kristina initially was a bit of a “party girl” at first but soon returned to her high school demeanor of being shy. Much of her time she spent in her barracks room watching movies, reading and listening to a wide variety of music. Off base didn’t offer much except tattoo parlors and car lots eager to attract soldiers. Nashville was only a 45-minute drive from the base but after a couple of weekends there, Kristina and other soldiers started avoiding the town after two soldiers were killed in separate incidents by citizens not happy with the influx of soldiers to Nashville.
Kristina began talking with another soldier also stationed at Ft. Campbell on a social website. She describes him as her opposite, outgoing compared to her shy, but they initially connected over movies. It didn’t take long before she realized, “I had a gut feeling he was the man for me.” After three months of dating, Tristan Gosserand asked her to marry him. They were married in March of 2017 and moved off base to set up their home. In 2019 they welcomed their son, Roman, to the family. Kristina made a hard decision to not re-enlist at the end of her contract choosing to be a stay at home mom with her young son.
Tristan chose to re-up for another five years and received orders to Ft. Lewis Washington, near Tacoma. The family lives in an apartment off base in a complex of more than 45 buildings!!! “It was kind of hard moving to Washington due to time changes and the constant rain.”
Kristin talk about her time out of the Army, “I had post-partum depression for a while. Being home without the structure, routine, purpose and teamwork was a hard adjustment.” As Kristina considers her future, she is seriously considering two options, attend college and become an elementary school teacher or re-entering the military.
Her advice to other young women considering military service. “I enjoyed it. It was tough but I learned many skills, how to survive in life, and I learned a lot about myself. It helped me overcome a lot of self-doubt.”