|Reichman takes command of Guard's 140th Regional Training Institute
FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. (May 19, 2010) — Brig. Gen. Stephen Danner, adjutant general of the Missouri National Guard, called the 140th Regional Training Institute’s change of command ceremony a win-win outcome recently at the post U.S. Army Engineer Museum.
Command Sgt. Maj. Albert Brown, left, hands off the 140th Regional Training Institute's flag one last time to the regiment's outgoing commander, Lt. Col. North Charles during a change of command ceremony.
“Sometimes we talk about changes of command as bittersweet because they come with a retirement, but this time, we get two for one on quality leaders,” Danner said.
Col. Jeffery S. Reichman took command of the regiment from Lt. Col. North K. Charles, who will move on to become the executive officer for the Agri-business Development Team IV.
Reichman’s previous assignment was as the joint staff intelligence directorate for the Missouri National Guard.
“I think Jeff Reichman is the right person at the right time to do this mission,” Danner said. “I’m pleased with what North has done and I know the same will happen with Colonel Reichman’s watch in that we will continue the high level of operations tempo in training. We are going to continue to adjust fire as operational needs are changing. Colonel Reichman’s forward thinking and vision will be a great asset to the regiment as we continue to transform.”
The 140th Regiment, based at Fort Leonard Wood, is part of the One Army School System. The schoolhouse is organized into a headquarters element and four battalions.
The 2nd General Studies Battalion, also at Fort Leonard Wood, teaches officer and warrant officer candidate schools, military occupation specialty reclassification, leadership and functional courses.
The 5th Ordnance Battalion includes the Regional Training Site–Maintenance and is located at Jefferson City’s Ike Skelton Training Site. They conduct all of Missouri's Ordnance and Maintenance courses.
The 1st Engineer Training Battalion is located at Fort Leonard Wood and teaches engineer military occupation specialty reclassification, leadership and functional courses. The Training and Evaluation Battalion also is located at Fort Leonard Wood and is designed to help prepare mobilizing Missouri Guard units for deployment to Iraq, Afghanistan and other locations in support of the Global War on Terrorism.
A Missouri National Guardsman since 1999, Reichman said his 31 years in the Army, which includes stints in the reserves and active component, have prepared him to lead the regiment.
“I’m honored to assume command of this regiment for the great state of Missouri,” said Reichman, who lives in the South Hampton area of St. Louis. “Command is a privilege, an honor and a solemn responsibility. For the quality of leadership in command always dictates the quality of an army in combat. I vow that the accountability for the mission and accountability of this regiment begins and ends with me.”
With the new position as commander of a state schoolhouse, Reichman said he’s excited to develop the future leadership of the Missouri National Guard and the nation.
“Leadership starts with this regiment,” he said. “We just want to see the increase in the quality of the officers and warrant officers that come out of this command. We are not so much looking for quantity as we are quality, but we need more leaders to come out of the program.”
Reichman credited his wife, Terry, and family for his success.
“There are many people who have helped me get where I am today and at the top my short list is my wife, Terry,” Reichman said. “Those of us who wear the uniform know all too well the extraordinary level of sacrifice that has been asked of us, but it’s easy to forget how hard the burden often falls to our families. Terry has been my confidant, my confessor and my best friend. I would not be standing here without her advice and all her words of wise council.”
Charles, who has commanded the regiment for two years, begins pre-mobilization training with is new unit for deployment to Afghanistan at the end of May.
“North has done a heck of a job,” Danner said. “I know it takes a team to make everything work, but it also takes a leader with vision to make things happen.”
Danner said it didn’t take long for Charles to impress him when the two met in January 2009 — a day after Danner took over as adjutant general. While meeting with Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, Charles stepped up to help Danner quickly plan the Missouri Guard’s response to the ice storm in the southeast portion of the state.
“North had briefed me up a little bit and in about 10 seconds, we formulated a three-point plan,” Danner said. “We executed it and everything worked correctly. That was my first taste of the kind of commander North is and I look forward to seeing a successful Agricultural Development Team IV.”
During the deployment, Charles and the team will work to undo years of damage to the agricultural and livestock infrastructure in Nangarhar Province. The region’s agricultural capabilities took a heavy blow during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979. In more recent years, opium poppies have represented most of the area’s economy.
“It’s the most important mission the Missouri Guard is participating in,” Charles said. “The key to transitioning out of Afghanistan is to enable the Afghan government to feed itself and take care of its citizens. So it’s pretty critical.”
During the ceremony, Charles was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal by Danner.
“I appreciate that the adjutant general recognized my time in command,” Charles said.
Charles, who has been in the Missouri Guard for more than 27 years, was proud of the success the regiment had under his command. Some of the unit’s accomplishments include the officer candidate school being named a Training and Doctrine Command institute of excellence and training more Soldiers than the Army expected it to.
“My biggest accomplishment is meeting the adjutant general’s intent of growing leaders and training Soldiers and units,” said Charles, who lives in Columbia. “I’ve come to understand the nature of training and the importance of the Guard.”
Charles made a point to thank his wife, Steph, first for her backing.
“A lot folks wait to talk about their spouses and say they are saving the best for last,” he said. “I’m not. I’m going to talk about my spouse first. You’ve been more than patient and supportive. I couldn’t have done any of this without you.”
He then addressed the regiment.
“I’m proud to say that you are transitioning from an average commander to a great commander,” Charles said. “Jeff Reichman is absolutely the right guy to take this organization where it needs to go. He’s a visionary and understands what needs to happen and the nature of a regional training institute. You are in great hands. I can’t say enough about what we’ve already done and where he’s going to take you.”
Reichman is a 1978 graduate of Findlay Senior High School, in Findlay, Ohio. He secured a bachelor’s degree in geophysics from Bowling Green (Ohio) State University in 1982 and followed with a master’s degree in strategic intelligence from the National Defense Intelligence Agency, in Washington, D.C.
In his civilian career, Reichman works as geospatial intelligence analyst for the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency in St. Louis.
Family members that support Reichman in his military career include Terry and his parents, James and Shirley Reichman, of Findlay, and a brother, Jon Reichman, and his wife, Christina, of Dayton, Ohio.
Charles is a 1981 graduate of Missouri Military Academy. He earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of Missouri in Kansas City in 1985 and a master’s in military history from Norwich University in Northfield, Vt., in 2009.
During the week, Charles worked as the directorate of operations for Joint Force Headquarters in Jefferson City. He relinquished that position in preparation for his upcoming deployment.
Along with Steph, Charles is supported in his military career by his son, Alex, of Lawrence, Kan.
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