Chandler — Soldiers of the 1st Battalion, 160th Field Artillery Regiment, 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, gathered to welcome their new commander and honor their outgoing commander with a change of command ceremony in Chandler, Oklahoma, on Jan. 12.
The Soldiers were honoring outgoing commander Lt. Col. Jason Henry and welcoming Lt. Col. Ronnie Beck.
Col. Christopher Chomosh, commander, 45th IBCT, said the Battalion saw several transitions during Henry’s time as commander.
“Once you took command, I immediately noticed change,” Chomosh said. “It was obvious your professionalism, enthusiasm and high standards would move the 160th forward and [they] did.”
During his tenure as commander, Henry oversaw the Battalion’s transition from two firing batteries to a three firing battery battalion, led the Battalion through new howitzer fielding and coordinated with the Brigade Headquarters and the Oklahoma Air National Guard’s 146th Air Support Operations Squadron in establishing a sustainable joint fire observers certification program, Chomosh said.
“It’s been an absolute honor, privilege and joy to serve with you all and be a part of this unit,” Henry told the Soldiers, noncommissioned officers and officers of the battalion. “I was once told being successful means surrounding yourself with great people. I was lucky to inherit great people and that is you all.”
Henry began his military career in June 1987 when he enlisted as a cannoneer and served on active duty for three years. He joined the Oklahoma Army National Guard in 1990 and earned his commission in 1993 and rejoined the regular army. He returned to the National Guard in 1998 as a member of the 1st Battalion, 158th Field Artillery Regiment, 45th Field Artillery Brigade. He has served as a platoon fire direction officer, platoon leader, battalion administrative officer, battalion fire direction officer, brigade fire direction officer, battalion executive officer and as the director of plans, operations and training at Camp Gruber Training Center, near Braggs, Oklahoma.
Henry has a bachelor’s degree in education from Northeastern State University, a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Cameron University and a master’s of business administration from Oklahoma State University.
Beck enlisted in the Oklahoma Army National Guard in 1988 and first served as a military policeman where he conducted overseas training in Panama and deployed for Operation Desert Shield/Storm. Beck then transferred to the 1st Battalion, 245th Aviation, where he obtained several military occupational skills. Beck graduated from the Oklahoma National Guard’s Officer Candidate School as the honor graduate in August 1999. He has served in many roles in the Oklahoma Army National Guard including battalion intelligence officer for the 700th Brigade Support Battalion and the 1st Battalion., 160th Field Artillery., battery commander, Battery B, 1st Battalion., 160th Field Artillery, rear detachment commander, 1st Battalion., 160th Field Artillery during the Battalion’s deployment to Iraq in 2007 and many other assignments. He also served as the operations officer for the Joint Task Force during Oklahoma’s response to Hurricane Harvey.
He has a bachelor’s degree in business management from the University of Oklahoma and a master’s degree in military history from the American Military University.
Beck thanked his family for standing by him through his 30-year National Guard career and offered advice to the Soldiers he now commands.
“If I may, as initial commander’s guidance, [share] something that has always served me well,” Beck said to the Soldiers in formation. “I have three very simple rules. Be in the right place, at the right time and in the right uniform. I promise, if you do those three things, everything else will take care of itself.”