One of Nevada’s most recognized and oldest units conducted a change of command May 7 with Lt. Col. Laura Boldry of Carson City stepping down after two years of guiding the 422nd Expeditionary Signal Battalion.
Maj. Jason Rapp, who deployed with the battalion in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan from 2011-12, becomes the latest commander of the Reno-based unit. The ceremony at the Washoe County Armory not only recognized the outgoing and incoming commanders but also former battalion commanders and sergeants major.
Boldry enlisted in the Nevada Army National Guard and completed her basic training in 1999 at Fort Jackson, S.C., and advanced individual training at the Defense Information School (Fort Meade, Maryland).
Boldry attended the state’s Officer Candidate School which was followed by her branch training in transportation at Fort Lee, Virginia. In 2003 as a member of the 321st Signal Co., Boldry experienced her first deployment to Southwest Asia for a year. She also deployed to Afghanistan in 2010 as commander of the 137th Military Police Co.
The Las Vegas native will soon transfer to the 40th Infantry Division as a G-6. In part, Boldry will be responsible for the planning, strategy, network architecture and implementation of command, control, communications, cyber operations and networks. Boldry will also deploy with the 40th Infantry Division to Kuwait for nine months.
“Today is a bittersweet day for me,” she said. “I started my career in the 422nd, and I thought I would retire here. I will take my third and last deployment before I retire.”
Boldry noted the coincidence since the 422nd ESB was a military police company under the 40th ID in 1928.
Maj. Gen. Ondra Berry, the state’s adjutant general, gave kudos to both the signal battalion and Boldry. He noted the battalion’s tradition as well as its importance in the National Guard is important to remember as is the tradition of a change-of-command ceremony.
“When you are in a position of command, you now take on a higher level — an elevated responsibility of a leader,” Berry said.
Berry commended Boldry for her leadership and remarked on her career, selfless service, loyalty, integrity and sacrifice of family. He said the outgoing commander is a leader who has a love for the organization and its people.
The battalion, which is the second largest in the state, gave Boldry a gift thanking her for two years of command, and Berry presented her with the Meritorious Service Medal.
The adjutant general said Rapp, a 2008 University of Nevada, Reno graduate in computer science, is currently employed as a staff engineer in electronics with Northrop Grumman in San Diego. He said Rapp is prepared and qualified to become the next battalion commander. Rapp’s previous assignment was as a deputy G6 who was responsible for a team of 18 cyber professionals. He ensured the development and enforcement of the Cyber Security Standard Operating Procedure for the Nevada National Guard.
While on deployment to Afghanistan, Rapp was the officer-in-charge of the Communications Center
“You have some of the finest soldiers you’ll ever find,” Berry said.
Col. John Krueger, the Nevada Army National Guard’s chief of staff, said the best job in the military is commanding. Krueger, who also deployed with the battalion in 2011, praised Boldry.
“You made the battalion better, and that’s leadership,” he said.
Boldry said commanders have difficult choices, and some soldiers may not approve or appreciate them.
“We always live up to the Army values and warrior ethos. We serve to be worthy of the uniform and for the soldier,” she added.
Boldry said it’s been an honor to serve as the 422nd ESB’s commander.
Krueger told Rapp he has earned his command and will do a great job. Rapp said he’s ready for the challenge of leadership.
“Eighteen years ago, I began my journey with the 422nd,” Rapp said, adding he has gained “deep insights” into the battalion’s missions.
Rapp said the battalion’s soldiers have a wealth of knowledge, and each soldier will be able to contribute to the battalion’s success in any mission.
“We can continue to achieve excellence, and we can set the standards for what it means to be an expeditionary signal battalion,” he said.
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