Kansas Sentinel February 2014

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Contents Departments Guard News...................................................... 12-13

► Schneider returns home............................. 12

► Bjorgaard takes command......................... 12

► Recruiting and Retention passes sword..... 13

Features

Saint Barbara celebration.................................. 4

Hall of Fame...................................................... 6

Distinguished retirees honored.......................... 7

Aeromedical evacuation unit deploys................ 8

35th Inf. Div. Change of Command.................. 10

International officers visit Capital..................... 14

35th Inf. Div. Soldiers honored......................... 16

On the Cover A crew chief of Company G, 2nd Battalion, 135th Aviation Regiment conducts pre-flight checks on a Black Hawk helicopter prior to departing Forbes Field, Kan., for Fort Hood, Texas, early morning Nov. 7, 2013, where they will complete premobilization training. Photo by Staff Sgt. Jessica Barnett, Public Affairs Office

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he Kansas Sentinel is an authorized, official publication of the Kansas Army National Guard. It is published to provide command and public information about the KSARNG and its Soldiers, at home and deployed. It is published by the 105th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment, out of Topeka, Kan. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and subjects, and do not necessarily reflect the official views, opinions, or constitute an endorsement by the U.S. Government, the Department of Defense or the Department of the Army. This publication does not supersede information presented in any other official Army or Department of Defense publication. The Kansas Sentinel reserves edited rights to all material. Published works may be reprinted, except where copyrighted, provided credit is given to the Kansas Sentinel and the authors. Distribution of the Kansas Sentinel is electronic. The submission of articles, photos, artwork and letters is encouraged. Please address to: Editor, Kansas Sentinel, 105th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment, 2722 SW Topeka Blvd., Topeka, KS 66611 Telephone: 785-274-1896, or by e-mail at: phillip.d.witzke.mil@mail.mil or jessica.barnett3.mil@mail.mil

Assistant Adjutant General-Land Component: Brig. Gen. Eric Peck Publisher Maj. D. Matt Keane, 105th MPAD Commander Editors Capt. Michael Sullivan Capt. Benjamin Gruver Sgt. 1st Class Phillip Witzke Staff Sgt. Jessica Barnett Spc. Jessica Zullig Graphic Design and Layout Capt. Michael Sullivan Spc. Anna Laurin Spc. Jessica Zullig



2-130th Field Artillery c

Command Sgt. Major. James Fenton, command sergeant major for the 2nd Battalion, 130th Field Artillery, and Lt. Col. Paul Schneider, battalion commander, present the Order of Saint Barbara to the inductees. Photo by Spc. Jesse Bahr, 2nd Battalion,

Retired Brig. Gen. Ron Tincher presents the Ancient Order of Saint Barbara to retired Maj. Homer T. Pederson. The Ancient Order of Saint Barbara recogizes the select few who stand above their brethren of the Honorable Order. Photo by Spc. Jesse

130th Field Artillery

Bahr, 2nd Battalion, 130th Field Artillery

By Maj. Chuck Leivan 2nd Battalion, 130th Field Artillery

The 2nd Battalion, 130th Field Artillery Regiment held its annual celebration of Saint Barbara Ball at the Fisher Center in Hiawatha, Kan., Jan. 18. Lt. Col. Paul Schneider, commander of 2nd Bn., 130th FA, and Command Sgt. Maj. James Fenton, battalion command sergeant major, hosted the event. “While the purpose of our gathering is to celebrate our patron saint, it also is a time to recognize the achievements of our members, retirees and spouses,” Schneider said. The Honorable Order of Saint Barbara is the continuation of the ancient and noble tradition of paying tribute to those warriors who have distinguished themselves in service. To be accepted into the order, an artillery Soldier must exemplify the finest traditions and high standards of the field artillery. Nine Soldiers were inducted into the Order of Saint Barbara: Maj. Dan Ball, Capt. Travis Zeigler, Sgt. 1st Class Keith Courtin, Sgt. 1st Class Tim Gustafson, Staff Sgt. Daryl Davis, Staff Sgt. Maurice Champoux, Staff Sgt. Patrick Stapleton, Staff Sgt. Gary Galbraith and Staff Sgt. Christopher Day. The spouse of a Guard member must be devoted to share in the demands imposed on its membership. A special recognition of the spouses who have voluntarily contributed in a significant way to the betterment of the field artillery community is provided for by membership in the Artillery Order of Molly Pitcher. Five spouses were inducted into the Order of Molly Pitcher: Julie 4 KANSAS SENTINEL

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Champoux, Suzanne Stapleton, Denise Honn, Tammy Lawson, and Carla Forbes. Mary Parrish, wife of retired Chaplain (Col.) Larry Parrish was the Matron of Honor and was assisted by Fenton’s spouse Lori, during the presentation. Retired Command Sgt. Maj. Dean Tollefson, former battalion command sergeant major, presented Capt. Derick Leeds and 1st Sgt. Ed Bellows, command team for Battery B, 2nd Bn., 130th FA, Abilene, Kan., the prestigious “Tollefson Retention Award” for having the highest rate of Soldier retention during fiscal year 2013 and achieving a retention rate of 92 percent of Soldiers, reenlisting 11 of 12 eligible Soldiers in the unit last year. This year, the regiment recognized retired Maj. Homer T. Pederson by presenting him with the Ancient Order of Saint Barbara. The Ancient Order is the more distinguished of the two levels of the military society of Saint Barbara. It recognizes the select few who stand above their brethren of the Honorable Order. The Ancient Order is reserved for those elite few whose careers have embodied the spirited dignity and sense of sacrifice and commitment epitomized by Saint Barbara. Retired Brig. Gen. Ronald Tincher, a member of the Ancient Order presented Pederson his medallion and certificate and was assisted by Pederson’s son, Lt. Col. Kirk Pederson, deputy commander of the 635th Regional Support Group. Pederson’s first period of continuous service was from June 23, 1948 - April 29, 1970, in the Kansas Cannons, first as an enlisted Soldier achieving the rank of sergeant first class in 1950, then as a commissioned officer in 1951 serving as platoon leader,


celebrates Saint Barbara

Inductees of the Honorable Order of Saint Barbara’s stand in line during the annual celebration of Saint Barbara Ball at Fisher Center in Hiawatha, Kan., Jan. 18. Pictured are: Maj. Dan Ball, Capt. Travis Zeigler, Sgt. 1st Class Keith Courtin, Staff Sgt. Daryl Davis, Staff Sgt. Maurice Champoux, Staff Sgt. Patrick Stapleton, Staff Sgt. Gary Galbraith and Staff Sgt. Christopher Day. Saint Barbara is the continuation of the ancient and noble tradition of paying tribute to those warriors who have distinguished themselves in service. Photo by Spc. Jesse Bahr, 2nd Battalion, 130th Field Artillery

battery commander and staff officer. Pederson was instrumenhas the most active retired membership of its peers in Kansas. tal in the mobilization of the 2nd Bn., 130th FA in 1969. After It is known for the 34 consecutive years of the Annual Officer’s receiving notice, the battalion mobilized in just two weeks to Fort Reunion, marking the anniversary of the 2nd Bn, 130th FA moCarson, Colo. As the commander, Pederson’s unit was highly bilization in 1969. Today, Pederson remains a walking historian successful in every task assigned through the integration of active of names, units and the whereabouts of countless Guardsman federal service of several fellow throughout Kansas and is active citizen-soldiers from Northeastern with the 130th Field Artillery Kansas. He was recognized by his Regiment. own Soldiers as “Pederson PopIn 1983, Pederson re-enlistpers.” ed a second time as a sergeant Pederson was next assigned first class. His first assignment as the fire support coordinator for was acting first sergeant for a 17-day operation with special Headquarters and Headquarters forces and earned the Vietnam Battery, 2nd Bn., 130th FA. Staff First Class Medal. Moving Then he was re-assigned as the to staff as the training officer, 5th full-time readiness noncommisBattalion, 22nd First Field Force, sioned officer for Service Bat- Lt. Col. Paul Schneider, his key task was to manage the tery, 2nd Bn., 130th FA in Troy, 2nd Bn., 130th FA battalion commander operations and missions of firing Kan. Pederson was the team batteries spread over three forward chief of the eight-inch nuclear operating bases from the Laos Bormission for the battalion. With der, highlands and coast of south Vietnam. his leadership, experience and attention to detail, the battalion After his tour, Homer resigned his commission April 29, successfully passed the Army Readiness and Training Evaluation 1970. As a local veteran and a former member of the National Program as well as every other inspection. Pederson retired for Guard, Pederson and several of his comrades initiated the 130th good in 1988. Field Artillery Regiment in 1981. Pederson was the very first The next annual celebration of Saint Barbara Ball will be historian of the 130th FA Regiment. Today, the Regiment still Dec. 6, 2014.

“While the purpose of our gathering is to celebrate our patron saint, it also is a time to recognize the achievements of our members, retirees and spouses.”

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Three inducted into the Kansas National Guard Hall of Fame By Spc. Brandon Jacobs 105th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

Three retired members of the Kansas National Guard were inducted into the Hall of Fame in a ceremony held at the Ramada Downtown Hotel and Convention Center in Topeka, Kan., Nov. 3, 2013. The honorees were retired Lt. Col. Robert K. Webb, retired Chief Warrant Officer 4 Cornelius “Van” Vandermotten and retired Command Sgt. Maj. Jana L. Harrison. Webb, Silver Lake, Kan., retired in 1987 after 31 years of service in both active duty and the Kansas National Guard. During his time in the military, he completed assignments at all levels of command, including work for the National Guard Bureau in Washington and a tour of duty in South Korea. His final position before retiring was the full-time comptroller for the 190th Air Refueling Wing at Forbes Field in Topeka. Vandermotten, a native of Glasgow, Scotland, immigrated to the United States in 1951. Vandermotten, or Van, as he is known to his friends, joined the military before he became a citizen. “A lot of people got it in their heads you have to be a citizen to be in the Army,” said the 80-year-old Vandermotten with a thick Scottish accent. After settling in Wichita, Kan., Vandermotten was drafted into the U.S. Army June 1953. After completing basic training, he was sent to Fort Bragg, N.C., to serve in the 505th Airborne Infantry Regiment and later in the 15th Field Hospital. In 1955, Vandermotten left active

duty, returning to Kansas where he “fulfilled his obligation to the government” by signing on with the Kansas Army National Guard. Four years later, in 1959, he became a naturalized citizen and joined the National Guard on a full-time basis. In March 1975, Vandermotten became the facility manager of Nickell Barracks Training Center. Vandermotten said of all his jobs in the National Guard, running the Nickell Barracks was probably his favorite. The men who came through the training center were like sons to him -especially when his family consisted of a wife, Gig, and three daughters: Linda, Janelle and Connie. After his retirement from the military June 1993, Vandermotten continued to work for the state of Kansas military department in different capacities, spending six years in Topeka, six years at Fort Riley and six years back in Salina before completely retiring in 2011. Harrison, Leavenworth, Kan., is the first woman to be inducted in to the Hall of Fame, as well as the first woman to obtain the rank of command sergeant major in the Kansas National Guard. Harrison’s story started off with a bit of trickery. Before enlisting in 1975, she needed her parent’s signature to join. On the way home from the recruiting station, Harrison was involved in a rollover accident. On the stretcher, she told her mother that she had enlisted. With this news her mother’s tears of concern turned to frustration that her daughter had made such a decision. “Thank goodness they took me to the hospital to get me away from her,” said

Harrison. Still in need of the signature, she went to her dad and had him sign at the “X” without telling him what it was for. “Pop, thanks for signing my enlistment papers when Mom refused,” Harrison said to the crowd of several hundred people. During her career, Harrison served as a traditional Soldier, a technician and finally as an Active Guard and Reserve member. Despite her retirement, Harrison continues to serve on a training team that prepares Active Duty and Reserve units for their deployments overseas, ensuring that another generation of Soldiers is prepared for combat. “I always thought I was doing something I really loved with people I just absolutely adored,” said Harrison, who was described as a proven combat leader and an avid trainer during her more than 30 years in the military. The National Guard Association of Kansas established the Hall of Fame in 1979 and inducts two to three honorees per year. Each Hall of Fame member has served in the Kansas National Guard or the Kansas State Militia and has made a significant contribution to National Guard achievements, tradition or history. “It gives me great hope for the future to know that men and women like these have helped shape our organization and have influenced those around them in such a positive way that we may never even know about,” said Maj. Gen. Lee Tafanelli, the adjutant general of Kansas. “You are an example for us all. You remind us all of what it means to wear the uniform and what we should strive for.”

Lt. Col. Robert K. Webb of Silver Lake, Kan., Chief Warrant Officer 4 Cornelius “Van” Vandermotten of Salina, Kan., and Command Sgt. Maj. Jana L. Harrison of Leavenworth, Kan., were inducted into the Kansas National Guard’s Hall of Fame Nov. 3, 2013, at the Ramada Downtown Hotel and Convention Center in Topeka, Kan. Photos by Spc. Brandon Jacobs, 105th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment 6 KANSAS SENTINEL

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Retired Sgt. Maj. Walter H. Boyer Jr., former senior chaplain’s assistant for the state of Kansas; retired Lt. Col. Kenneth Gully, formerly the Staff Judge Advocate at Joint Force Headquarters; retired Chief Warrant Officer 5 Terry Patton, the former Reset Maintenance Manager; retired Lt. Col. Gregory Platt, formerly the operations officer for the Great Plains Joint Training Center, and retired Col. Hans J. Neidhardt, former commander of the 184th Intelligence Support Squadron, were all recognized for their service during the annual Adjutant General’s Recognition Dinner held at the Ramada Hotel and Convention Center, in Topeka, Kan., Nov. 3, 2013. Photo by Spc. Robert I Havens 105th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

Kansas National Guard honors retirees at banquet By Spc. Robert Havens 105th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

The Kansas National Guard honored their distinguished recent retirees at the Kansas National Guard Retirement dinner held at the Ramada Hotel and Convention Center, Topeka Kan., Nov 3, 2013. “Tonight, we are honored by each of these 12 individuals who have given up so much for our nation, to the state of Kansas and the Kansas National Guard,” said Lt. Col. William Jenkins, state chaplain for the Kansas National Guard. “Each day of their long, distinguished careers has made a difference. Tonight, we honor them and their families.” Honored were retired Col. Hans J. Neidhardt and wife Shari, former commander of the 184th Intelligence Support Squadron; retired Lt. Col. Kenneth Gully and wife Janette, who retired from his position as the staff judge

advocate at Joint Force Headquarters; Lt. Col. Gregory H. Platt and wife Brett Stewart-Platt, who is retiring from his position as the operations officer for the Great Plains Joint Training Center; Chief Warrant Officer 5 Terry D. Patton and wife Tana, who is retiring from his position as the Reset maintenance manager; and Sgt. Maj. Walter H. Boyer Jr. and wife Bernadine, who is retiring from his position as the senior chaplain’s assistant for the state of Kansas. “I know that on behalf of (Brig.) Gen. Peck commander of the Army Guard, and (Brig.) Gen. Link commander of the Air National Guard feel that the officers and NCO’s have truly made an impact that will be felt for years to come,” said Maj. Gen Lee Tafanelli, the adjutant general. “When you talk about 178 years of service, it means a lot of institutional knowledge it enabled to impart on

everyone and will certainly leave fond memories.” The retiree’s families were also honored for their sacrifice and service during the banquet. “When you listen to their bios, they may have started their careers with different branches, states or institutions, but they all say their most fond memories were that of their time with the Kansas National Guard, and that speaks to the family environment of the Kansas Guard,” Tafanelli continued. “You really are part of the family, and in the years to come, we hope that you stop in to your family and see what is going on in the Guard.” “I would also like to thank the families, because without their love, support and their sacrifice for the Kansas National Guard our honorees would not be able to serve,” Tafanelli continued. “They’re just as much as a member our family.”

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Kansas aeromedical evacuation By SSG Jessica Barnett Public Affairs Office

Approximately 45 Soldiers of Company G, 2nd Battalion, 135th Aviation Regiment, (General Support Aviation Battalion), were honored Nov. 4, 2013, in front of family and friends during a deployment ceremony at the Army Aviation Flight Support Facility #1, located at Forbes Field, Topeka, Kan. Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer and Maj. Gen. Lee Tafanelli, adjutant general of Kansas, spoke at the ceremony. “When a Soldier is injured, getting him proper medical treatment as soon as possible is vital,” said Tafanelli. “The work these Kansas Guardsmen often means the difference between life and death and getting them to the medical care facilities as quick as they possibly can. We are immensely proud of them and the total commitment they give to their mission.” “Not only have they met every standard of the Department of the Army, they have far exceeded them in their preparation,” said Colyer, as he spoke to the Soldiers and their families.

Many of the families understand this is what their Soldiers signed up for, but saying goodbye is never easy. One of the unit’s crew chiefs and a father of three, Staff Sgt. Ryan Kohlman, is on his third deployment. “It's definitely tougher because we have the baby this time, so it's a little sadder,” shared Kohlman’s wife, Amanda. “Being away from the kids is probably the hardest part because you miss so much of their lives and of them growing up,” added Kohlman. “When you come home, it’s like new little bigger people.” The Soldiers departed Nov. 7 in two flights of three Black Hawk helicopters for their mobilization station at Fort Hood, Texas, for additional mission-specific training before deploying to Afghanistan. The Soldiers were able to return home for the holidays due to a generous donation from the Wal-Mart Foundation to the Kansas National Guard Foundation to pay for bus transportation to and from Texas. At their arrival home, each family was provided boxes of food, including a turkey, a ham and all the trimmings, plus a

Left: Maj. Kevin Kennedy, commander of Company G, 2nd Battalion, 135th Aviation Regiment, poses for a photo with his fiance, Erin Robinson, following his departure ceremony Nov. 4, 2013. Photo by Jane Welch, Public Affairs Office

Right: Staff Sgt. Ryan Kohlman, a crew chief with Company G, 2nd Battalion, 135th Aviation Regiment, poses for a family photo with his wife, Amanda, and kids Robyn, Logan and Rogan following his departure ceremony Nov. 4, 2013. This will be Kohlman’s third deployment. Photos by Staff Sgt. Jessica Barnett, Public Affairs Office

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$75 Wal-Mart gift card. The unit’s mission will consist of providing aeromedical evacuation support within the division and corps under the command and control of the General Support Aviation Battalion. They will also be providing the rapid evacuation and movement of patients while providing en route care to higher echelons of medical treatment, movement of medical personnel and accompanying medical equipment and supplies, consistent with evacuation priorities and operational considerations, to and from points as far forward as possible. The aeromedical evacuation unit is no stranger to this mission as they deployed with their sister unit out of Colorado to Iraq May 2010 to May 2011 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. “We are honored to send the very best men and women in the National Guard to do that work,” said Tafanelli. In closing, Maj. Kevin Kennedy, commander of Co. G, 2nd Bn., 135th Avn. Regt., said, “Ready to launch, ready to provide care and ready to help save a life. God speed and dust off.”


unit deploys to Afghanistan

Soldiers of Company G, 2nd Battalion, 135th Aviation Regiment, say goodbye to loved ones before departing Forbes Field, Topeka, Kan., for Fort Hood, Texas, Nov. 7, 2013, where they will receive additional mission-specific training before deploying to Afghanistan. Photo by Staff Sgt. Jessica Barnett, Public Affairs Office

Maj. Gen. Lee Tafanelli, adjutant general of Kansas, speaks to the Soldiers of Company G, 2nd Battalion, 135th Aviation Regiment, during their deployment ceremony at the Army Aviation Flight Support Facility #1, Forbes Field, Topeka, Kan., Nov. 4, 2013. Photo by Staff Sgt. Jessica Barnett, Public Affairs Office

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Maj. Gen. Michael D. Navrkal, commander, addresses the crowd and Soldiers of the 35th Infantry Division. Navrkal received command of the 35th Inf. Dev. at a change of command ceremony, Nov. 2, 2013, at Fort Leavenworth, Kan. Navrkal told the crowd how honored he was to be a part of a division with such proud history.

Members of the 35th Infantry Division salute the incoming officer, Maj. Gen. Michael D. Navrkal, as he takes command in the change of command ceremony Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013, at Fort Leavenworth, Kan. Family and friends were also present during the ceremony.

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A cannon was sounded in honor of the change of command ceremony for the 35th Infantry Division. Maj. Gen. John E. Davoren released the duties as commander to Maj. Gen. Michael D. Navrkal Nov. 2, 2013, Fort Leavenworth, Kan.


Maj. Gen. Navrkal takes command of the 35th Infantry Division Story and Photos by Spc. Anna Laurin 105th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

The 35th Inf. Div., headquartered at Fort Leavenworth, is comprised of Soldiers from Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska.

Maj. Gen. Michael D. Navrkal took command of the 35th Infantry Division in a ceremony Nov. 2, 2013, on the parade Maj. Gen. Michael D. Navrkal grounds of Fort Leavenworth, Kan. Family, friends and members Maj. Gen. Michael D. Navrkal received his commission of the 35th Inf. Div. were present to celebrate the change of from the Officer Candidate Course at Fort Benning, Ga., June command. 5, 1981. He has commanded at the company, battalion and The outgoing officer, Maj. Gen. John E. Davoren, thanked brigade levels. Navrkal commanded Company A, 2nd Battalion, his Soldiers and relinquished his command. 134th Infantry Regiment, 67th Infantry Brigade and the 168th “Distinguished Quartermaster Petroleum Supply guests, general officers, Battalion. Navrkal deployed to Iraq family and friends and as commander of the 867th Corps Soldiers of the 35th, what Support Battalion from 2006a privilege it’s been to be 2007, leading an organization of your commander,” said 1,700 Soldiers providing logistical Davoren. “I want to thank support. He served as commander all of the general officers of 92nd Troop Command, here that have supported Nebraska National Guard. me throughout that time, Most recently he served as all of the Soldiers who the assistant adjutant general have also supported me, for the Nebraska Army National but most of all my wife, Guard. Navrkal was also the - Maj. Gen. Michael D. Navrkal Deborah.” deputy commanding general 35th Infantry Division He also spoke to for operations, First United Navrkal about the Soldiers States Army Division West and who make up the 35th Inf. was responsible for conducting Div. training readiness oversight and “General Navrkal,” said Davoren, “here is a group of mobilization of designated Active, National Guard and Reserve Soldiers who have never missed a mission, never failed a task, component forces. and are ready to carry forward.” The ceremony included the passing of the colors. The act of Maj. Gen. John E. Davoren passing of colors from an outgoing commander to an incoming Maj. Gen. John E. Davoren assumed duties as the division one ensures that the unit and its soldiers is never without official commander in August 2010. He was commissioned in 1976 from leadership, a continuation of trust, and also signifies an allegiance the Reserve Officer Training Corps program at the University of soldiers to their unit’s commander. of Kansas. After completing the Infantry Officer Basic Course After Navrkal received the 35th Inf. Div. colors from and Ranger training he served as a rifle platoon leader, Company Davoren and Maj. Gen. Tafanelli, the adjutant general of Kansas, A, 503rd Infantry at Fort Campbell, Ky. In July 1979 he was he spoke about his new command position. assigned to Troop B, 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry, 25th Infantry “I am honored to be taking command of this outstanding Division at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii; and in 1982 became the unit,” said Navrkal. “I know the unit is already at a high level of executive officer for the 1st Aviation Battalion at Fort Riley, Kan. readiness, and I look forward to building upon this success.” Since joining the Kansas Army National Guard, his The incoming commanding officer shared with the crowd assignments have included commander, Company A, 2nd Bn., how grateful he was to be serving with the Soldiers of 35th Inf. 137th Inf.; intelligence officer, 69th Brigade; operations officer, Div. and his future with the unit. 2nd Bn., 137th Inf.; commander, 2nd Bn., 137th Inf.; commander, “What a privilege and honor it is for me to serve with the 69th Troop Command; assistant division commander, 35th Inf. Soldiers of this division, a division with such a rich and proud Div.; commander, Multinational Task Force – East (KFOR 9); history,” said Navrkal. “I look forward to building upon these and assistant adjutant general of the KSARNG. Soldiers’ success.” Davoren is retiring with 37 years of military service.

“What a privilege and honor it is for me to serve with the Soldiers of the division, a division with such a rich and proud history ...”

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Guard News

Schneider returns home to field artillery battalion By Spc. Brandon Jacobs 105th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

The 2nd Battalion, 130th Field Artillery of Hiawatha, Kan., welcomed home a former unit member as the new commander while honoring an outgoing commander during a change of command ceremony at the Kansas Army National Guard armory in Hiawatha, Kan., Dec. 7, 2013. Taking over for outgoing commander Lt. Col. Christopher A. Burr, is Lt. Col. Paul W. Schneider of Hiawatha, Kan. During the week, Schneider serves as the deputy J3/director of Military Support at Joint Force Headquarters, Topeka, Kan. “It’s good to come home,” said Schneider. “I grew up in this unit and look forward to the challenge of command.” After 37 months of command, Burr will drill with the 635th Regional Support Group as the executive officer, a position he has held as his full-time job for the last three years. “These are some fantastic (Soldiers) who do an excellent job,” said Burr. “They are what make it worthwhile.” The 2nd Bn., 130th FA is headquartered in Hiawatha with subordinate units located in Abilene, Clay Center, Holton, Marysville and Ottawa. The regiment has been awarded streamers for the Muese-Argonne, Alsace, Lorraine, the Aleutian Islands, the European Theatre, Iraq Campaign and Iraq Occupation.

Lt. Col. Christopher A. Burr, outgoing commander, receives the 2nd Battalion, 130th Field Artillery colors from Command Sgt. Maj. James Fenton during the change of command ceremony Dec. 7, 2013, at the Kansas Army National Guard armory in Hiawatha, Kan. Photo by Spc. Brandon Jacobs, 105th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment.

Bjorgaard takes command of Co. D, 2nd Bn., 137th Inf. Story by Spc. Robert I. Havens 105th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

Lt. Col. Steven Denny, commander, 2nd Combined Arms Battalion, 137th Infantry, presents the unit colors to incoming commander Capt. Jon. Bjorgaard during a change of command ceremony at the Emporia Armory in Emporia, Kan., for Dec. 7, 2013. Photo by Spc. Robert I. Havens, 105th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

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Company D, 2nd Combined Arms Battalion, 137th Infantry Regiment welcomed a new commander with a change of command ceremony held at the Kansas Army National Guard armory in Emporia, Kan., Dec. 7, 2013. A change of command ceremony is considered an important tradition in the military and represents a formal transfer of authority and responsibility of a unit from one commanding officer to another. The outgoing commander, Capt. Adam Pawlosky, passed the unit colors to incoming commander Capt. Jon Bjorgaard, who shared some thoughts to his new unit. “Over the years we got to do intermittent things on the tanks,” said Bjorgaard. “A lot of the junior Soldiers haven’t been on a tank since [Advanced Individual Training]. The next two years will afford us focused training around those tanks. The days will be long and difficult, but I am confident you all will be up to that challenge. I look forward to facing those challenges with you all.” “I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, this is the best company in the Kansas Army National Guard, and it’s not because of me; it’s because of you,” said Pawlosky. “It’s because of your willingness to serve and protect and the sacrifices you’ve made. Thanks for executing and accomplishing every task I’ve ever assigned to you.” “My greatest takeaway would be working with the Soldiers and watching the Soldiers,” said Pawlosky. “That’s probably the most rewarding part, is when you work hard and plan. That’s what I’m going to miss most, working with the Soldiers while they do their job and have fun.” 2nd Bn., 137th Inf.

February 2014


Recruiting and Retention Battalion passes sword to new CSM by Spc. Anna Laurin 105th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

The Recruiting and Retention Battalion, Topeka, Kan., welcomed a new command sergeant major during a change of responsibility ceremony, Jan. 11. Command Sgt. Maj. James Crosby was installed as the new command sergeant major succeeding Command Sgt. Maj. Manuel Rubio Jr., who has served in the position for the last four years. Rubio was awarded the Meritorious Service Award for his service as the command sergeant major in the Recruiting and Retention Battalion, by Maj. Kenneth J. Weishaar, commander. Rubio was also presented with the battalion colors. Weishaar explained that this is a small symbol of the investment of the last four years of his life, a small token of appreciation for the sacrifices that he and his family have made. The command sergeant major gave his final words as leader within the battalion. “It has been an honor to me to have been the command sergeant major of this organization and to serve with these noncommissioned officers and officers,” said Rubio. “Also, I want to thank my family for supporting me and allowing

me to continue to serve the Soldiers of the Kansas Army National Guard.” The change of responsibility was symbolized by the passing of the noncommissioned officer’s sword from Rubio to Crosby. The sword is symbolizes the relinquishing of responsibility and authority for the outgoing command sergeant major to the incoming command sergeant major. It was a regular weapon carried by sergeants for more than 70 years, and now symbolizes the dedicated service of a command sergeant major. After being introduced as the new command sergeant major, Crosby pointed out the great opportunity that this battalion can have to affect countless Soldiers and their futures. “I can’t stress enough the importance of coaching, teaching, mentoring and the impact that it has on Soldiers’ careers,” said Crosby. “By simply taking a few minutes out of your time, you really can change the career of any Soldier. “To our RSP (Recruit Sustainment Program) warriors, you are the epitome of what is right with our society. We will care for you and send you to your units as training-ready Soldiers. You are our future,” said Crosby.

Command Sgt. Maj. James Crosby accepts the noncommissioned officer’s sword as a symbol of the responsibility given to him during a change of responsibility ceremony for the Recruiting and Retention Battalion, Topeka, Kan., Jan 11. The exchanging of the sword represents the trust the commander has in his noncommissioned officer’s leadership. Photo by Spc. Anna Laurin, 105th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment.

Command Sgt. Maj. Manuel Rubio receives the Meritorious Service Award for his service as the command sergeant major in the Recruiting and Retention Battalion, by Maj. Kenneth J. Weishaar, commander, Topeka, Kan., Jan 11. The Meritorious Service Award is presented to service members who distinguished themselves by outstanding meritorious achievement or service to their state and to their country. Photo by Spc. Anna Laurin, 105th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment.

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International officers state capitol ’ e d nva

‘i

Photos and Story by Spc. Anna Laurin 105th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

Kansas Governor Sam Brownback shakes hands and welcomes the international officers who are attending U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kan., Feb. 6. The officers toured the capitol and learned about the state House of Representatives and Senate during their visit to Topeka. Photo by Spc. Anna Laurin, 105th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

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Forty-seven military officers from 40 nations visited Topeka Feb. 6 to learn about state government and the state judicial system. The international officers are students at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kan. They came to Topeka as part of their study about the different levels of government within the state of Kansas. The officers were greeted by Brig. Gen. Scott Dold, chief of the joint staff, Kansas National Guard, before beginning their legislative and judicial tours. The capitol tour is a part of preparation courses for the international officers to help them learn and understand the different levels of government within our country, said Michael Brettmann, Fields Studies Program Manager for the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College. The officers have taken two such courses, one on culture and social relations, and the other on tactics and military decision process. In line with the courses, the class takes tours or field studies trips to view and learn about the government. “The field trips have a building block approach,” said Brettmann. “The trips start with visiting local governments, then state governments, and then, in October, the class visits Washington D.C. to view and learn about our national government.” The international officer class has already visited Leavenworth and Kansas City to see local government. The day before the Topeka tour the class visited the Truman Library to see some decisions made by the president and talk about foreign policies. At the end of the day the class visited the Kansas Museum of History to learn more about the state that they will be living in for a year. While in Kansas each officer is set up


Forty-seven international military officers, students at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kan., pose with Kansas Governor Sam Brownback in front of the Harry Truman statue inside the Kansas Capitol Feb. 6. They visited the Capitol and judicial courts as part of a tour about the different levels of government within the state. Photo by Spc. Anna Laurin, 105th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

with a group of people or sponsors who help them integrate into and learn about their new communities for the time they are in the class. “Each officer gets three sets of sponsors,” said Brettmann. One sponsor works on Fort Leavenworth, a second set of sponsors are from the Leavenworth and Lansing area, and the third sponsor is from a Kansas City organization, the Greater Kansas City People to People. “A lot of these officers’ only exposure to America is the movies,” said Brettmann. “That’s not always the best portrait of us.” When the officers have sponsors from good families and the community they see that the movies aren’t always true, said Brettmann. It helps to change their perspective, then they take that message back to their country, and it helps the

connection between the United States and their home countries. Lt. Col. Samvel Sargsyan, international officer from Armenia is on his fourth visit to the United States and second visit to Kansas. “I was here seven years ago, now I’m here a second time and I like it,” said Sargsyan. He is attending the college to continue his understanding of American culture and to expand his military thought process. “What I am looking forward to taking from the college is the strategic way of thinking and the knowledge,” said Sargsyan. After the tours, presentations and the museum, the officers had something to give back to those who had filled the day with education and hospitality.

Sargsyan, on behalf of the international officer class, presented a framed seal of the U.S. Command and General Staff College emblem to Dold, thanking him for the hospitality they had received that day. Quoting Henry V, Dold thanked the officers and remind them of the bond between military members. “We are all a band of brothers here; we are all here for the same reason,” said Dold. “We all have different presidents, different rulers, different kings, but we are all here to do good things for our country. We are all trying to take care of our people.” The international officer class also presented small gifts of thanks to the staff that set up the trip and the police officers who escorted their bus throughout the day. February 2014

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Kansas Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer addresses the Soldiers of the 35th Infantry Division during their departure ceremony at Fort Leavenworth, Kan. Approximately two dozen Soldiers from the 35th Inf. Div. will deploy to Kosovo to augment the Multi-National Battle Group East, a multinational peacekeeping force. Photo by Sharon Watson, Public Affairs Office

35th Infantry Division honors Soldiers By Staff Sgt. Mark Hanson 35th Infantry Division Public Affairs

Approximately seven Soldiers of the 35th Infantry Division were honored in a departure ceremony Dec. 14 at the 35th Infantry Division Headquarters at Fort Leavenworth. These Soldiers are the first group to augment a larger element in support of the NATO mission in Kosovo. “We’re a small contingency, made up of members from four states, heading over to augment the active duty 504th Battlefield Surveillance Brigade out of Fort Hood, Texas,” said Lt. Col. Joseph Pehlman, who leads the contingent. The 35th Inf. Div. is one of eight divisions in the Army National Guard and is made up of Guardsmen from Illinois, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska. “We have great Soldiers in the 35th with tremendously supportive families 15 KANSAS SENTINEL 14

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and employers. I know our Soldiers are well-prepared for this mission,” said Maj. Gen Michael D. Navrkal, commander of the 35th Inf. Div. “Many of the Soldiers on this deployment have previous experience in the region as the 35th Infantry Division has deployed twice to the Balkans, in 2003 and 2007.” “I was in Kosovo in 2007 to 2008 and going back will be interesting to see how things have changed,” said Pehlman. “I think having these types of recurring missions allows us to take what we’ve learned from past experiences and bring it back to apply to current operations. It also gives us more opportunities to build better and stronger relationships.” Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer, M.D., was also in attendance at the ceremony, where he thanked the families for their continued support. “On behalf of the state of Kansas and

on behalf of Governor Sam Brownback, we appreciate your service and are honored to be a part of the ceremony today,” said Colyer. “This is such an important mission for the state of Kansas and it’s because of the stability operation that you all have performed that (Kosovo) is starting to grow. If there is anything that the governor or I can do, we would be honored to try and help the Soldiers and families in any way.” The Soldiers of the 35th Inf. Div. are deploying to Fort Hood, Texas, for additional training before deploying to Kosovo for their mission. In Kosovo, the Soldiers will fill key positions in the headquarters for Multi-National Battle Group - East, a multinational peacekeeping force. The Battle Group will be under the command of Col. Charles Hensley, commander of the 504th Battlefield Surveillance Brigade located in Fort Hood, Texas.