New commander takes over Army Guard’s 991st unit |

New commander takes over Army Guard’s 991st unit

Steve Ranson
Special to The Appeal

Lt. Col. Kim LaBrie of Reno assumed command Saturday of the Nevada Army National Guard’s 991st Troop Command in a ceremony held at the Army Aviation Support Facility, the Stead Airport.

LaBrie takes over from Lt. Col. Robert Harrington of Reno, who has been assigned to be the state’s army aviation officer. Both men have served various assignments at the Nevada Military Department in Carson City.

Brig. Gen. Cynthia Kirkland, the adjutant general, said a battalion commander faces many challenges. Because of the global war on terrorism, she said commanders face demands on training schedules and the prospect of units being mobilized to Iraq or Afghanistan.

“The 991st is being placed in very capable hands. I have watched (LaBrie) develop during his career,” Kirkland said.

LaBrie has been the Nevada Army National Guard’s counter-drug coordinator since 2000.

Kirkland said the counter-drug program is a model unit.

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Brig. Gen. Frank Gonzales, commander of the Army Guard, passed the battalion’s guidon to LaBrie, signaling the change of command. He said LaBrie’s command oversees five units and more than 400 soldiers.

Gonzales said the battalion command will be a challenge for LaBrie. “It is so important we get units prepared for deployment,” he said.

LaBrie, who graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy, became an officer in 1986. He is a graduate of the armor advance course and the Command and General Staff Officer’s College.

Harrington spent 18 months as commander, and has more than six years of accumulated command time. He attended the aviation officer advanced course, the Combined Arms and Service Staff School and the Command and General Staff College.

Kirkland, who has worked with Harrington for 12 years, said he has taught her what at outstanding officer should be.