La. National Guard’s 139th welcomes new commander

By Staff Sgt. Scott Longstreet, HHD 139th Regional Support Group Public Affairs 

NEW ORLEANS –The Louisiana National Guard’s 139th Regional Support Group welcomed Col. Stuart N. Burruss as their new commander during an official change of command ceremony at Jackson Barracks in New Orleans, July 21.

Burruss, a resident of Carville, assumed command from Col. Mark A. Howard, a resident of Baton Rouge, who has served as the commander since May 2016.

Howard’s awards include the Bronze Star, the Combat Action Badge, the Meritorious Service Medal and the Army Commendation Medal.

“Thanks to all of my commanders with whom I served,” said Howard. “The effect you had on the administrative and training of your battalions certainly made my job as commander easier. It has shown through in your ability to manage and implement training schedules and in your Soldiers.”

Maj. Gen. Glenn H. Curtis, adjutant general of the LANG, signaled the transfer of leadership by receiving the organizational colors from Howard and passing them to Burruss.

Curtis praised both Howard and Burruss for being great examples of what it means to be a leader.

“Those of us outside the 139th lose sight of its complexity and how difficult it is to guide, direct and command because of all the various disciplines,” Curtis said. “Within the 139th you have transportation, military police, logistical support, maintenance and military intelligence.”

Burruss received his commission through the Reserve Officers Training Corps in 1989 as a Second Lieutenant in the Corps of Engineers. His most recent assignment was as Joint Director of Operations and Plans, which he held since February 2016.

Burruss’ awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal with two oak leaf clusters, the Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, the Army Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster, the Army Achievement Medal, the Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal with silver oak leaf cluster, the National Defense Service Medal with one bronze star, the Iraq Campaign Medal with two bronze stars, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terror Service Medal, the Humanitarian Service Medal with one bronze star, the Armed Forces Reserve medal with mobilization device and silver hour glass, the Meritorious Unit Commendation with oak leaf cluster and the Superior Unit Award.

Burruss is married to Aimee, from Destrehan, and they have three children, Alexis, Caleb and Connor.

The 139th was organized as a major command in 2005 and has been activated to support all major state activations since then, including Hurricanes Gustav, Ike, Isaac, the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and the major floods of 2015 and 2016.

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