A slate of new names and faces will begin rotating this month into some of the top command posts for various units of the California State Military Reserve’s Regional Support South.
Col. Donald Thornley, a former Marine, will continue serving as commander of the RSS, which is based at the Joint Forces Training Base Los Alamitos and is currently at a troop strength of some 250 and growing. Thornley will continue to be ably assisted by Chief of Staff Col. Michael Runyon and Command Sgt. Maj. Gary White.
In a key change, the region’s S3 (Operations) unit will now be headed by Lt. Col. Russ Nakaishi, who formerly led the 1st Battalion, 1st Brigade. He will be replacing Lt. Col. Bradley Niederhauser. Staying in place in their top spots for the S1 (Personnel) and S4 (Logistics) units, respectively, are Capt. Brett Bailey and Maj. Milton Myers. For the RSS headquarters company, the newly assigned commandants will be Chief Warrant Officer 2 John Leung and 1st Sgt. Sam Adams.
As background, the RSS is comprised of two main elements: the 1st BD, which is tasked with Army support, and the 2d Brigade, which provides civil support. A key goal of CSMR state commander Brig. Gen. Timothy Albertson is a recruiting push over the next few years that will see the total statewide strength of the CSMR, which now numbers about 800, to reach 3,000 troops.
There are three RSS detachments that will maintain their top personnel as is: Medical (Col. Bill Green), Public Affairs (Capt. Ron Alexander) and Chaplain Corps (Capt. Roy Twadell). The JAG unit remains at JFTB. Under the CSMR state command for the south region, Lt. Col. Timothy Ingram heads the legal team.
The 1st Bde will continue under the leadership of Col. Joseph Von Sauers, with Lt. Col. Christopher Cervantes serving as his deputy commander and Lt. Col. Niederhauser taking on the role of chief of staff.
The 2Bde, which is home to the CSMR’s State Military Police unit, having built a strong reputation for its professionalism and proficiency, will continue to be commanded by Col. Frank Naumann.
by WO2 Rick de la Torre
Artwork by Capt. (CA) Ronald Alexander