Brigade conducts change of command |

Brigade conducts change of command

Sgt. Emerson Marcus
106th Public Affairs Detachment

LAS VEGAS — Col. Zachary Doser remembers when the Nevada Army Guard’s 17th Sustainment Brigade was established four years ago with its assets amounting to just “six soldiers and a couple pens and paper.”

In stark contrast to those original half dozen soldiers, hundreds of 17th Sustainment Brigade troops stood in formation recently at the Las Vegas Readiness Center as Doser, the brigade’s commander since 2011, passed command of the now-largest brigade force in the Nevada Army Guard to Col. Vernon Scarbrough.

The brigade was created in 2009 to sustain division-sized elements worldwide and today includes more than 2,000 of the Nevada Army Guard’s 3,100 soldiers. Fallon’s 609th Combat Engineer Company falls under the brigade’s guidon.

“I safely can say I am transferring a combat ready brigade,” Doser said of the brigade that deployed two subordinate units overseas during his command.

Scarbrough said he plans to focus on training now that leaders and personnel are in place and necessary equipment has been acquired.

“In 2009, we started with nothing,” said Scarbrough, who recently completed a master’s degree in strategic studies at the U.S. Army War College’s distance learning program. “Manning was our biggest challenge. We had all these spaces and the question was ‘How do we get soldiers into them?’

“We had a challenge thereafter with equipment. The majority of those challenges have been resolved. Now our biggest challenge is the training phase to get all our Soldiers qualified and up –to-date on their needed training schools.”

Scarbrough joined the U.S. Army in 1982 after graduating from the University of North Texas. He studied music in college and worked as a teacher in the Washoe County School District for 18 years. He became a full-time technician in the Nevada National Guard in 2005 and served as chief of the Nevada National Guard’s communication section.

Doser, who works full-time as a detective in the Reno Police Department, will move into a role as the deputy commander of the Nevada National Guard under Brig. Gen. Michael Hanifan.

Doser took command of the 17th Sustainment Brigade in October 2011 and was the second commander in brigade history after succeeding Col. Pete Menicucci. Among the brigade’s accomplishments during his stint was the certification of the Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear Enhanced Response Force Package — a response team to help for emergency management in Nevada during contingencies — and the completion of two major overseas deployments by units within the brigade, officials noted.