News: North Dakota Guard’s Civil Support Team leader retires
BISMARCK, N.D. — Lt. Col. Larry Shireley, Bismarck, relinquished his duties as commander of the North Dakota National Guard’s 81st Civil Support Team after more than 12 years of service with the unit during a change of command ceremony today at the Guard’s headquarters in Bismarck. The incoming commander is Lt. Col. Mark Quire, also of Bismarck.
“Lt. Col. Shireley has done an outstanding job leading the 81st CST since its inception,” said Maj. Gen. David Sprynczynatyk, North Dakota adjutant general. “His contributions as commander has helped shape this unit into one of the best and most respected Civil Support Teams in the nation.”
The change of command ceremony is an important military tradition which formally acknowledges the transfer of duties, responsibilities, and authority between incoming and outgoing commanders.
“I have the upmost confidence in Lt. Col. Quire’s leadership abilities,” said Sprynczynatyk. “He will ensure that the 81st CST continues to excel in mission accomplishment while taking care of soldiers, airmen and their families.
Quire served on active-duty with the U.S. Army for 10 years followed by eight years of experience with the Florida Army National Guard before being assigned as the 81st CST’s executive officer in 2008.
Quire told the audience that “he was honored to continue to serve with this exceptional unit and that the 81st CST will always be ready to respond whenever called and wherever needed.”
Shireley was honored at a retirement ceremony, immediately following the change of command.
Among his various awards and recognition, the adjutant general awarded Shireley the North Dakota Legion of Merit for 26 years of exceptional military service.
“We appreciate and applaud Larry Shireley’s achievements in the North Dakota National Guard and wish him and his Family the best of luck as he begins a new chapter in his life,” Sprynczynatyk added.
Shireley thanked the 81st CST members praising them for their professionalism. “I am proud to have been given the opportunity to lead this exception unit over the last decade,” Shireley said. He also thanked his family, friends and fellow Guard members for their great support over the years.
The 81st CST was formed in 1999 as a “part-time” National Guard unit.
In 2000, Shireley was selected to serve as its first commander. In 2005, the team expanded to 22 full-time soldiers and airmen. Under his leadership, the team successfully passed their readiness evaluations and was certified fully operational by the Department of Defense, Feb. 1, 2007. Shireley led the team through 50 training events and three operational deployments with no accidents, loss of equipment or personnel injury.