Ceremony marks change of command for 203rd RED HORSE Squadron

Brig. Gen. Wayne A. Wright, the Deputy Adjutant General of Virginia, passes the colors to Lt. Col. J. Stock Dinsmore, signifying the change of command for the 203rd RED HORSE Squadron from Lt. Col. Peter S. Garner to Dinsmore in a ceremony held Nov. 16, 2013, at Virginia Beach, Va. (Photo by Tech. Sgt. Meghan Skrepenski, Virginia Air National Guard Public Affairs)

Brig. Gen. Wayne A. Wright, the Deputy Adjutant General of Virginia, passes the colors to Lt. Col. J. Stock Dinsmore, signifying the change of command for the 203rd RED HORSE Squadron from Lt. Col. Peter S. Garner to Dinsmore in a ceremony held Nov. 16, 2013, at Virginia Beach, Va. (Photo by Tech. Sgt. Meghan Skrepenski, Virginia Air National Guard Public Affairs)

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — After more than four years of serving as the commander of the 203rd RED HORSE Squadron, Lt. Col. Peter S. Garner relinquished command to Lt. Col. J. Stock Dinsmore during a change of command ceremony Nov. 16, 2013, in Virginia Beach, Va. “Lt. Col. Garner has led from the front in a professional manner through several deployments,” said Brig. Gen. Wayne A. Wright, Deputy Adjutant General of Virginia and senior officer for the ceremony. “He has given his all to make this a great unit.”

Garner was commissioned in 1987 as a lieutenant in the U. S. Army following graduation from Clarkson University with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering. He completed his graduate studies in 1989 at Purdue University with a master’s degree in construction engineering and management. Garner spent more than10 years on active duty with the U. S. Army as an engineer. Garner’s assignments included platoon leader, company executive officer, battalion adjutant and exchange officer. Garner crossed over in October of 2000 to the Virginia Air National Guard and took a full-time job as the director of operations for the 203d RED HORSE Squadron in Virginia Beach, VA. He took command of the 203d RHS in June 2009.

“He served with distinction over a long career,” said Brig. Gen. Zane R. Johnson, Air Component Commander for the Virginia National Guard. “I am very proud of his accomplishments.”

Dinsmore was commissioned in 1997 into the Virginia Air National Guard after graduating from the Virginia Military Institute with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. He completed his graduate studies in 2001 at Old Dominion University with a master’s degree in engineering management.

Dinsmore was assigned to the unit’s design section upon entering the 203rd RHS. Dinsmore served as the officer in charge of the 203rd RHS Air Fields Flight in 2004, design chief for the 1st Expeditionary RED HORSE Group in 2006-2007, the commander of the 557th Expeditionary RED HORSE Squadron at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar in 2011 and deputy commander of the 203d RHS in 2012.

“I look forward to leading this great organization.” Dinsmore said, “I am extremely excited to be in this position and look forward to working with each person to carry on the traditions of the 203rd RED HORSE Squadron.”

Garner marked the end of his military career during a retirement ceremony held after the change of command in front of an audience filled with distinguished military guests, 203rd RED HORSE Squadron Airmen, and friends and family.

Garner reflected on more than 23 years of military service with both the U.S. Army and the Virginia Air National Guard saying, “I’ve met some great, inspiring leaders. I’ve been blessed during command with outstanding first sergeants.”

Wright spoke of Garner’s leadership as key to several accomplishments including the development of the Stafford Civil War Park in one year versus the seven it was projected to take. Wright also spoke of Garner’s leadership while, “the 203rd RED HORSE Squadron deployed in seven countries and 18 locations at one time.”

Garner left his squadron with final words of wisdom. “Any success I’ve had is because of you. This is the best unit I’ve ever served with. Set the bar high and lead the way,” said Garner.

RED HORSE stands for Rapid Engineer Deployable Heavy Operational Repair Squadron Engineers, and the unit provides a highly mobile civil engineering response force to support contingency operations worldwide.

Story by Maj. Cynthia C. Coy and Tech. Sgt. Meghan Skrepenski.

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