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News | June 17, 2024

Alaska Army National Guard conducts trio of command changes

By Balinda O'Neal Alaska National Guard

JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska — The Alaska Army National Guard recently conducted three significant change of command ceremonies, underscoring the steadfast commitment to excellence and readiness within its ranks.
Alaska Army National Guardsmen, friends, and family attended these events at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, which showcased the traditional passing of the unit colors, emblematic of the transfer of authority and responsibility within the unit.

Col. Aaron Kelsey, Alaska Army National Guard chief of staff, expressed gratitude for the sacrifices made by the outgoing commanders’ families and acknowledges the challenges and rewards ahead for the incoming commanders.

“The attendee’s presence at the ceremonies is a testament to the strong bonds of camaraderie and support that define the organization,” said Kelsey.
On May 31, at Camp Carroll, Lt. Col. Chad Ausel relinquished the unit guidon as the outgoing commander during the Recruiting and Retention Battalion change of command ceremony. The battalion welcomed Lt. Col. Amy Slinker who brings her expertise and leadership to continue recruiting and retaining the finest Soldiers for the Alaska Army National Guard.
A few days later, on June 2, the 207th Aviation Troop Command held its change of command ceremony at Bryant Army Airfield. Lt. Col. Brendon Holbrook assumed command from Lt. Col. Todd Miller. The 207th Aviation Troop Command, with its diverse fleet of helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft, plays a vital role in various missions crucial for Alaska and the nation's support.
On June 16, the change of command ceremony for the 207th Multi-Functional Training Regiment took place at the Camp Carroll flagpole. Lt. Col. Aaron Hamilton passed the guidon to Lt. Col. Paula Comerlato-Medley. The 207th Multi-Functional Training Regiment, recognized as a top-tier U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command school, excels in training Soldiers and leaders, ensuring readiness and proficiency.
“These ceremonies celebrated the accomplishments of the outgoing commanders and laid the groundwork for the incoming leaders to continue their predecessors’ legacy of excellence,” said Kelsey.
He further offered guidance and encouragement to the new commanders, urging them to uphold excellence and embrace opportunities with determination and resilience.

"Require nothing unreasonable of your Soldiers, but see that whatever is required, you function and comply. Reward and punish every Soldier according to their merit, without partiality or prejudice," said Kelsey, echoing the wisdom of George Washington.
The Alaska Army National Guard remains dedicated to its mission of protecting and serving, led by officers who demonstrate capability and commitment.