Change of command ceremony held for Winchester-based Virginia Guard infantry battalion

 

Col. John M. Epperly, commander of the 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, hands the unit colors for 3rd Battalion, 116th Infantry Regiment, 116th IBCT, to Lt. Col. Erik Gordon to signify Gordon’s assumption of command of the battalion from Lt. Col. Paul Gilman during a change of command ceremony held Dec. 1, 2012, at the Cherry-Beasley Readiness Center in Winchester. (Photo by Cotton Puryear, Virginia National Guard Public Affairs)

WINCHESTER, Va. – Lt. Col. Erik Gordon took command of the Virginia National Guard’s Winchester-based 3rd Battalion, 116th Infantry Regiment, 116th Brigade Combat Team from Lt. Col. Paul Gilman in a change of command ceremony held Dec. 1, 2012, at the Cherry-Beasley Readiness Center.

Gilman assumed command of 3rd Battalion in May 2010 after serving as commander of the Fort Pickett-based 1st Battalion, 183d Regional Training Institute beginning in August 2009. He earned his commission through ROTC at the University of Virginia, where he graduated in 1991. He began his military career as an engineer officer and served in the 229th Engineer Battalion as a platoon leader, executive officer, company commander and battalion operations officer. He transitioned to infantry branch in 2003 and served as a battalion operations officer and executive officer in the 116th Brigade Special Troops Battalion. Gilman deployed to Iraq from 2007 to 2008 with the 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team Headquarters in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom as the officer in charge of the Base Defense Operations Center as part of the Security Directorate, Joint Area Support Group, Multi-National Forces – Iraq. He will be assigned as the 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team executive officer.

Gordon began his military career in October 1990 as an infantry Soldier in the Virginia Army National Guard, and he earned his commission in 1993 through the Virginia Guard Officer Candidate School. He served as a rifle platoon leader, scout platoon leader, company executive officer and company commander in 1st Battalion, 116th Infantry Regiment. Gordon has deployed overseas on federal active duty three times. In September 2001, he deployed to Bosnia as a member of the Joint Military Commission section, Stabilization Force 10. From 2006 to 2007, he deployed with the 29th Infantry Division as a member of the Kosovo Force 8, and most recently served with the 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team as member of Combined Task Force Zabul, in Zabul, Afghanistan. In 2003, he transitioned from traditional drilling status to the Active Guard Reserve program with a duty assignment at the National Guard Bureau in Arlington and most recently served as the construction branch chief for the Installations Division at NGB prior to taking command of 3rd Battalion.

Since September 11, 2001, nearly 15,000 Virginia National Guard Soldiers and Airmen have mobilized for federal active duty for homeland security missions and overseas duty in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn. Soldiers from 3rd Battalion last mobilized for federal active duty in Iraq and Kuwait from September 2007 to April 2008. Over the last 24 months, almost 200 Soldiers from the battalion have mobilized in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation New Dawn. Soldiers from the battalion have also served on state active duty in support of emergency response operations during severe weather situations. In the last year, the battalion mobilized more than 150 Soldiers for State Active Duty in support of the Derecho storms in July as well as Hurricane Sandy in October.

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View photos from the change of command ceremony on Flickr:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/vaguardpao/sets/72157632153535252/