Local 256th National Guard unit welcomes new commander


By Cadet Leah McPeek

256th Infantry Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs Representative


ERATH, La. – The Louisiana National Guard’s 2nd Battalion, 156th Infantry Regiment, welcomed its new commander, Lt. Col. William E. Haygood, in an official Change of Command ceremony at Erath High School, April 6, 2014.

Haygood is from Monroe, La., but resides in Gonzales, La and was commissioned into the Louisiana Army National Guard as an Infantry lieutenant in August 1991. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in General Studies.

Haygood was mobilized with the 205th Engineer Battalion in June 2003 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. He deployed to Kandahar, Afghanistan, and served as the operations officer for the 205th’s southern task force from August 2003 until May 2004.  Haygood also served in duration overseas deployment staff positions in Belize in 1996 and 1997 and in Haiti in 2010. Haygood is currently the manager of the state of Louisiana Office of Community Development Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.

Haygood assumed command of the 2-156th from Lt. Col. Brad Sonnier. Haygood said, “Lt. Col. Sonnier, I appreciate your service to 2nd battalion, and I’ll do everything I can to continue the tradition that you have been a part of for so long.”

Sonnier, a resident of Breaux Bridge, La., was commissioned into the Louisiana Army National Guard as an Infantry Lieutenant in August 1992. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

He is a veteran of both Operation Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

When reflecting on his time as commander, Sonnier said, “A third of my life and half of my career has been within these ranks before me. I will always cherish my time here, especially this final assignment.”

Maj. Gen. Glenn H. Curtis, adjutant general of the LANG, presented Haygood with the squadron colors.

Haygood, looking forward to his new role as commander, said, “2nd Battalion will foster an environment of mentorship and accountability where each Soldier will be given the opportunity to excel.”

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