Capt. Christopher Yell of Elko on Saturday became the new commander of the Nevada Army National Guard’s 593rd Transportation Company, which returned home in April from a deployment to Afghanistan.
Yell, an underground electrician for Newmont Mine in Elko, took over the company from Maj. Kurt Kolvet of Reno after a change-of-command ceremony at the Washoe Armory. The transportation company, with headquarters in Reno and detachments in Elko, Winnemucca and Las Vegas, became Nevada’s first unit to deploy to both Iraq and Afghanistan. Gov. Brian Sandoval called the unit at its mobilization ceremony in May 2012 a true Nevada company, given soldiers represent many of Nevada’s communities.
Yell served as both the operations officer and executive officer for the 593rd Transportation Co., at Camp Phoenix, Afghanistan, on the outskirts of Kabul. Yell said he occasionally stepped in to run the company if Kolvet was called outside the camp for a meeting or mission.
Before joining the Nevada Army National Guard, Yell served in the Navy in the Seabees. After a break in service, he joined the Nevada Guard, completed Officer Candidate School and received his commission in 2005 before attending the Officer Basic Course in transportation at Fort Eustis, Va.
Yell grew up in Shreveport, La., but moved to Nevada after his Navy days and spent time in Douglas County. He said the deployment to Afghanistan was what he expected to prepare him for command. He said every day was on-the-job training at Camp Phoenix.