News: Vanguard Brigade bids farewell to commander, welcomes new one
Story by Sgt. Bob Yarbrough
FORT STEWART, Ga. – Fourth Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division held a change of command ceremony, bidding farewell to Col. Kimo Gallahue and welcoming Col. Thomas Gukeisen, at Newman Gymnasium, Fort Stewart, Ga. Feb. 12.
Gallahue commanded the Vanguard Brigade for 30 months, taking command shortly after the unit redeployed from Iraq in 2011. The 4th IBCT, under Gallahue’s leadership, spent the next year training for their next challenge. They would deploy again in February 2013, this time to Afghanistan.
The Frankfort, Ky. native, along with Command Sgt. Maj. Alan Hummel, would lead more than 2,300 soldiers in Logar and Wardak Provinces, providing assistance and training to the Afghan National Security Forces, who successfully took responsibility for security and operations in many areas in the two provinces due in large part to the Vanguard Brigade’s training efforts.
“That task was a critically important outcome for ISAF (International Security Assistance Force), for the people of Afghanistan, and most importantly, for this nation.” said Maj. Gen. John Murray, Commander of 3rd Infantry Division. “Col. Kimo Gallahue’s commitment to proficiency and discipline ensured that everything that Task Force Vanguard accomplished was to a high standard.”
“This ceremony does it. It wraps up this particular life cycle for the 4th Infantry brigade Combat Team.” said Gallahue “I am absolutely at ease passing these colors today to my friend and brother, Col. Tom Gukeisen. I look forward to watching you and these, your Soldiers, write the next great chapters in the history of the Vanguard Brigade.”
The colors passed from one commander to the next, and Col. Gukeisen assumed command of the brigade. Gukeisen’s career includes three deployments with the 10th Mountain Division, out of Fort Drum, N.Y., as well as 16 years with the 82nd Airborne Division from Fort Bragg, N.C. Gallahue and Gukeisen commanded battalions together while assigned to 10th Mountain Division as lieutenant colonels.
Gukeisen holds two master’s degrees in military arts, from both the Command and General Staff College and the School of Advanced Military Studies, and a Master's of Science in Joint Campaign Planning and Strategy from the Joint Advanced Warfighting School.
“I am truly honored to assume command,” said Gukeisen, “You should hold your heads high for the accomplishments you have achieved.” With that, Gukeisen retired the colors and completed the ceremony, taking command as the new “Vanguard 6.”