Engineer battalion welcomes first female commander

FRANKLINTON, La. - Louisiana National Guardsman Capt. Heather S. Englehart, the incoming commander of the 843rd Horizontal Engineer Company, receives the unit flag from Lt. Col. Michael Kazmierzak, the commander of the 205th Engineer Battalion, during a change of command ceremony held at the unit's headquarters in Franklinton, La., March 22, 2011. Englehart, a resident of New Orleans, is the first female to command the unit since its inception.

By Sgt. Michael L. Owens
241st Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

NEW ORLEANS – Command of the Louisiana National Guards 843rd Horizontal Engineer Company switched hands during a change of command ceremony held at the units headquarters in Franklinton, May 22.

Capt. Heather S. Englehart, recently serving as the assistant plans officer for the 205th Engineer Battalion, assumed command of the 843rd from Capt. Alan T. Dunn, now reassigned to the 1-244th Assault Helicopter Battalion in Hammond.

Adding another page to military womens history, Englehart becomes the first female commander in the 205th.

“Thank you for entrusting me to take command of this great unit,” said Englehart of New Orleans. “I couldnt be any more excited, and I will work hard for you and expect you to do the same for me.”

In his remarks, Lt. Col. Michael Kazmierzak, commander of the 205th, welcomed the new commander to her first command with some words of advice.

“I charge you with being an inspiring leader because your Soldiers deserve it,” said Kazmierzak. “Leadership is what its all about, and you have to demand it from all levels to be a successful commander.”

Kazmierzak also presented the Army Commendation Medal to Dunn for exceptional meritorious service while serving as commander of the 843rd since November 2008.

“You have led this unit through responding to oil spills, floods and hurricanes,” Kazmierzak said to Dunn. “To be a great leader, you have to give your Troops the resources and means to do their jobs, and you have done exactly that.”

Addressing the unit for the last time, Dunn, a native of Geismer, expressed his gratitude and appreciation to the Troops he has led for the past two and a half years.

“Weve been through a lot, and youve always stepped up when I needed you to,” said Dunn. “Even during the current flood mission, you continue to amaze me, and I thank you for all your support the last couple of years.”

The 843rd mission consists of horizontal construction, which includes building roads and airfields for military missions, as well as maintaining equipment and supporting state and federal operations.

Please visit http://www.dvidshub.net/units/LAANG for the latest Louisiana National Guard releases, photos and videos.

FRANKLINTON, La. – Louisiana National Guardsman Capt. Heather S. Englehart, incoming commander of the 843rd Horizontal Engineer Company, receives the unit flag from Lt. Col. Michael Kazmierzak, commander of the 205th Engineer Battalion, during a change of command ceremony held at the 843rd headquarters in Franklinton, La., May 22, 2011. Englehart, a resident of New Orleans, becomes the first female commander in the 205th. (U.S. Army Photo by Sgt. Michael L. Owens, 241st Mobile Public Affairs Detachment/Released)

 

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