HAMPDEN — The new director of the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System is a Hampden native — and the first woman to hold the post.
U.S. Air Force Col. Alice Briones graduated from Hampden Academy in 1990 and joined the U.S. Army to be a combat medic.
Four years later, she graduated from the University of Maine’s Clinical Laboratory Sciences Program and the following year, she joined the Air Force.
She said fell in love with science in Ms. Kimball’s biology class in high school.
“Forensic started out as more of a fictional interest but really meshed into the field of pathology that I was interested in. so kind of just branched from there and then I realized how this cool science could really help families provide answers,” Briones said during a Zoom interview.
The change of directorship ceremony took place on Oct. 21 at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware. She is now the chief medical examiner for the Department of Defense.
For years, Briones was part of the lab team working to identify the remains of sailors lost on the battleship USS Oklahoma, bombed during the attack on Pearl Harbor. She said it was rewarding to bring closure to their families.