Tag Archives: Change of Command

Wyoming Joint Force Headquarters welcomes new commander

Wyoming Joint Force Headquarters in Cheyenne recently said goodbye to the outgoing commander, Maj. Paul Kanish, and welcomed the new commander, Capt. Jacob Arnold at a ceremony held at the Joint Force Readiness Center. Brig. Gen. Brian Nesvik, commander of the Wyoming Army National Guard, presided over the ceremony with the traditional passing of the colors.

Kanish will still serve as a Wyoming guardsman and has taken an assignment at the National Guard Bureau in Virginia.

Arnold has 21 years under his belt in the Wyoming Guard, with nine of those serving as an active guard reserve officer. He thanked his family for their continued support for the opportunity to serve in uniform and that he wouldn’t be here today without them.

“This new and exciting for me,” Arnold said. “I stand before you humble and excited, ready to help everyone accomplish the mission here at JFHQ.”

Arnold’s first order of business as the unit’s commander was to award Master Sgt. Brock Roush the Army Commendation Medal for his exemplary service to another soldier.

“I look forward to getting to know all the leaders and soldiers here,” Arnold said. “I’m also looking forward to having some fun.”

Recruiting and Retention Battalion welcomes new commander

CAMP GUERNSEY JOINT TRAINING CENTER, Wyo. – Whether joining or leaving service in the Wyoming Military Department, everyone has encountered one of the recruiters from the Recruiting and Retention Battalion of the Wyoming Army National Guard. They are responsible for filling the units around the state, to jobs ranging from infantry to computer specialists.

During a change of command ceremony at the 213th Regional Training Institute on April 11, 2021, in Guernsey, Wyo., the battalion said farewell to their commander and welcomed a new one. Outgoing commander Lt. Col. Mike Pezeshki passed the leadership of the unit on to Maj. Lara Taylor. Taylor will now carry the task of overseeing the battalion’s 44 recruiters as well as all the recruits that come through the unit during her command.

While this new command will bring its challenges, Taylor, who previously served as the executive officer for the battalion, will draw on her 16 years with the Wyoming Guard to overcome those challenges. She is also a 21 year veteran.

“With the foundation created by Lt. Col. Pezeshki, we’re going to be in a very strong position going forward,” Taylor explained.

The battalion will lean on Taylor’s experience as students get back to school and the recruiters get back in the communities now that COVID-19 restrictions are starting to lift. The battalion will also continue to train and prepare recruits for their upcoming school dates with the Recruit Sustainment Program.

The battalion also fulfills the important duty at the military department to meet the demands the state by working to ensure it has the appropriate number of soldiers to complete the missions assigned.

During the three years that Pezeshki was battalion commander, the state saw more recruits under his charge, resulting in more soldiers serving the state overall. These new recruits will spend their time learning the skills necessary to succeed at their initial military schooling. Upon their return they will begin their career with their selected units. Before his command, the battalion would manage approximately 150 new soldiers per year. That number is up to approximately 220 soldiers today.

While excited for his future, leaving the unit was very bittersweet for Pezeshki.

“It’s the best command I ever had,” he said. “I didn’t want to leave.”

Pezeshki will continue to serve the Wyoming Guard by attending the Navy War College in Newport, Rhode Island before going on to serve as a staff officer for the National Guard Bureau in Arlington, Va.

With over 35 years of service between Pezeshki and Taylor, the battalion will be in good hands for years to come.

94th Troop Command welcomes new commander

94th Troop Command welcomed their new commander, Lt. Col. Marko Rubich, on Nov. 14, 2020. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the change of command ceremony that had been planned to be held in Cheyenne, Wyo. was cancelled in order to comply with local state and health guidelines. Rubich took over command from Lt. Col. Toby Alkire.

Alkire, who served as the 94th’s commander for almost three years, will be moving on to become the Joint Director of Operations in Cheyenne.

“I’m really going to miss this position,” Alkire said. “I am leaving with a heavy heart. We have some of the best leaders in the Wyoming Army National Guard in Troop Command.”

Alkire felt a good majority of the success he found at the 94th came from the exceptional command teams, leadership, and full time staff that were there. He was especially thankful for Command Sgt. Maj. Lindsay Schmidt who helped him throughout his command. He felt that he couldn’t have asked for better people to work alongside.

Alkire also said he is going to miss working with the wide variety of units 94th has, but looks forward to working with domestic operations and Homeland Security. He has no fears that the new commander of 94th will do great.

Rubich previously served with the 115th Field Artillery Brigade where he was the deputy commander. He has been a member of the Wyoming National Guard since 2013, after transferring from active duty.

“The command relationship with soldiers is special compared to almost any role you might have,” Rubich said. “It’s an honor to be able to command 94th Troop Command.”

As commander, Rubich plans to focus on individual soldier readiness, deployment readiness and improving and maintaining relationships with the other units that the 94th is aligned to train with.

Throughout his 16 years in the military, Rubich said he has been a part of many units similar to those that fall under the 94th. He hopes to be able to further the units and help them to become better than they were before.

“This is a privilege that only comes around a couple of times in an officer’s career,” he said, “and my door is always open. I am here for every soldier in the formation, all they need to do is pick up the phone and call me.”

153rd Airlift Wing welcomes new wing commander

Col. Barry Deibert assumed command of the Wyoming Air National Guard’s 153rd Airlift Wing during a July 11, change of command ceremony at the wing headquarters, in Cheyenne.

Col. Justin Walrath relinquished command, and will now serve as the air liaison officer for the Wyoming Air National Guard.

In Deibert’s address to the wing, he challenged the experienced members of the 153rd to inspire our young airmen to dream and to always make sure they know they are important.

“I promise you that I will work the entire time I’m in this job to ensure that you know, you are important,” said Deibert.

“This wing has done and will continue to do great things.”

“Be proud of who you are and what you’re capable of, you truly are the best of the best,” added Deibert.

Col. Deibert has been with the 153rd since 1986 when he enlisted as a young avionics systems specialist.  He went on to receive his commission and earned his pilot wings in 1993. Deibert has served as the wing’s aircraft maintenance squadron and group commander.

The 153rd Airlift Wing is Wyoming’s sole Air National Guard wing and has a primary mission of providing combat airlift. The wing is also responsible for organizing, training, and equipping a force capable of conducting effective and sustained operations in support of the nation, state, and community.


U.S. Air National Guard photos by Staff Sgt. Jon Alderman.

Photos can be downloaded at https://www.flickr.com/photos/wyoguard/albums/72157715088442842

Watch the full change of the command here, brought to you by the WY National Guard’s state and wing Public Affairs Team: