Carson City soldier takes over Las Vegas Battalion Command

Lt. Col. Michael Carlson, a Carson City resident and member of the Nevada Army Guard, took charge of the Guard's 1st Battalion, 99th Troop Command at Edsall Training Center in Las Vegas this week.

The command serves as an administrative headquarters, to ensure subordinate units are trained and prepared for mobilization.

"I've been looking forward to this for a long time," he said. "I like working with soldiers. For me, this is a leadership pinnacle."

Carlson will oversee five units and three subordinate detachments in Elko, Ely, Henderson, Las Vegas, Reno and Winnemucca. The battalion includes a military police company, two transportation companies, an engineer company and the troop command headquarters.

An 18-year Carson City resident, he returns to the 1st Battalion after having served as its executive officer in 1996. He also commanded a military police unit from 1989 to 1992, one of the high points of his 24-year career.

"We were deployed a lot, to Central America, Honduras and the Gulf War. There was never a dull moment," he said. "I still hear from those kids. At least five call me every Dec. 3, our mobilization date. I'm hoping this new position is as much fun, under better circumstances."

Now in his 17th year as a Nevada Army Guard soldier, Carlson rose through ranks, starting with his assignment as a helicopter crew chief in Fort Rucker, Ala.

His previous guard assignments include stints as the state's recruiting and retention manager and as the operations officer for the Nevada Military Academy. His most recent assignment was as the state training officer.

He realizes his command could be pulled into the potential Iraqi conflict, but over the past year, his companies have been called on primarily to provide guards for armories, airports and the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, Calif.

Carlson has two grown sons. Michael, 27, is with the 82nd Airborne Division at Ft. Bragg, N. C. and Joe, 21, is a construction worker living in Silver Springs.


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