PORTLAND, Ore. – Lt. Col. Timothy Deckert relinquished command of the 141 Brigade Support Battalion, 41 Infantry Brigade Combat Team, Oregon Army National Guard, to Lt. Col. Michael Burghardt during a change of command ceremony at Kliever Memorial Armory in Portland, Ore., July 28.
Deckert has served as the commander of the 141 BSB since July 11, 2010.
At the ceremony, Maj. Gen. Raymond F. Rees, Adjutant General, Oregon, awarded Deckert a Meritorious Service Medal for his superior leadership and for exceeding unit training and readiness goals during his tenure as the commander of the battalion.
Rees said Deckert’s “stewardship and mentorship over many years of service culminated in superb leadership and top-notch readiness.”
Col. William Edwards, commander of the 41 Infantry Brigade Combat Team, echoed Rees’ praise for Deckert’s concerted effort during “reset,” a term used to describe the specific reintegration tasks units must complete when they return from deployment.
“The mission was no mean feat,” Edwards said. “It required a focus on the core tasks that only a brigade support battalion can do.”
In his outgoing remarks, Deckert reflected on his leadership strategy of the previous two years.
“As battalion commander I tried to create a climate of competence, not of compliance,” he said. “I wanted to see junior Soldiers do great things and not be micromanaged.”
Burghardt served as the executive officer of the 141 BSB prior to being selected as the battalion’s commander.
He began his Army career in 1990 at Western Oregon State College, where he was awarded a two- year Reserve Officer Training Corps scholarship. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant in June 1990.
While on active duty, Burghardt served as a transportation platoon leader, transportation company executive officer, and aide de camp while with the 13th Corps Support Command at Fort Hood, Texas. He has deployed to Somalia in support of Operation Restore Hope, Kuwait in support of Operation Vigilant Warrior, Bosnia/Croatia, and Iraq.
Burghardt’s Oregon Army National Guard assignments include: liaison officer for 82 Rear Tactical Operations Center; commander of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 82 RTOC; commander of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Joint Force Headquarters Training Site Command; information operations officer for the 41 IBCT; senior escort officer in Iraq with 1-82 Cavalry; support operations officer for 141 BSB; and operations officer for 141 BSB.
“You have the endorsement of three general grade officers who recognize your leadership, logistical expertise, and your capacity and vision,” Rees said. “We know you will continue the success of the 141.”
Burghardt thanked Rees and Edwards for giving him “the honor of commanding the finest logisticians in the National Guard.”
Taking a cue from Deckert’s address, Burghardt provided insight into his leadership philosophy and quoted a previous commander in chief.
“’Surround yourself with the best people you can, delegate authority, and don’t interfere as long as the policy you’ve decided upon is being carried out,” Burghardt said, quoting former President Ronald Reagan.
Burghardt said that under his leadership 141 Soldiers would continue to be well-equipped, well-trained, and that leaders would be focusing on the basics.