New commander takes over at Nevada National Guard |

New commander takes over at Nevada National Guard

Steve Ranson
Nevada Appeal News Service

STEAD – Col. Francis P. Gonzales, a Southern Nevada power company executive, was installed Saturday as the new commander of the Nevada Army Guard.

Gonzales, who is waiting official federal approval to become a brigadier general, replaced Brig. Gen. Randall Sayre, of Carson City, as the state’s highest ranking Army Guard officer.

Sayre, a 1971 Fallon graduate, is retiring after serving more than 30 years in the active army and National Guard.

Gonzales will now oversee the training and readiness for all units assigned to the Nevada Army National Guard.

During the past three years, Sayre has overseen Nevada Army National Guard deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan as well as in the United States.

“General Sayre took over command of the Nevada Army National Guard at a very difficult time,” Brig. Gen. Cynthia Kirkland, adjutant general for Nevada, said at the change of command ceremony held at the Army Aviation Support Facility north of Stead.

She said Sayre ensured units were prepared and well trained before they shipped out to fight the global war on terrorism.

During Sayre’s tenure as the CAG, approximately 74 percent of Nevada’s citizen-soldiers deployed either overseas or within the continental U.S.

“This Army and Air National Guard has its fingers all over the world,” Sayre said. “Our business in Iraq and Afghanistan is not finished. Nobody knows what tomorrow will bring.”

Kirkland said Gonzales shadowed Sayre as a deputy commander and learned from Sayre’s leadership. She said Gonzales will continue to take the Nevada Guard through new challenges.

Gonzales brings almost 29 years of military experience to the position. He received his commission in 1979 from the Nevada Military Department.

He served in numerous leadership positions ranging from company commander to a military assistant dealing with Iraqi reconstruction.