Fort Polk community welcomes familiar face as new Garrison Commander

Fort Polk's change of command ceremony

FORT POLK, La. (KPLC) - Dozens of soldiers and community members gathered at Fort Polk Thursday to say ‘goodbye’ to one Commander and ‘welcome back’ to another on Thursday.

With Colonel Jarrett Thomas II leaving soon for Afghanistan to serve as a Senior Adviser for the Ministry of Defense, it was a homecoming of sorts for the new Garrison Commander, Colonel Ryan Roseberry.

“We are extremely excited," Roseberry said. "We’ve been waiting to be here a year since we found out we were coming to Louisiana. For us this is full circle for our officer career. I first came here in 1998, a Geronimo soldier. Came here single, left here married and this is where we started our Army journey.”

Colonel Ryan K. Roseberry enlisted in the U.S. Army of June 20, 1990 as a 19D Calvary Scout. He served three years in 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry located in Schweinfurt, Germany before attending Southern Illinois University. While in college, he served as a platoon leader in E Troop 106th Cavalry and D Company, 131 Infantry of the Illinois National Guard. He graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelors degrees in Russian Language and International Trade with minors in Military Science and Economics. On September 1, 1997 he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Military Intelligence Corps branch detailed to Armor.

Upon commissioning, Col. Roseberry attended the Armor Officer Basic Course and Scout Platoon Leader Course at Fort Knox, Kentucky. He was then assigned to the 1st Battalion, 509th Infantry (ABN) at Fort Polk where he served as a Scout Platoon Leader, Cavalry Troop Executive Officer, and Battalion S2. During this assignment, he graduated from the Military Intelligence Transition Course, Jump Master School, Ranger School, the Military Intelligence Captain Career Course and the Counterintelligence Course. He left Fort Polk in 2002 and next served as the Headquarters and Headquarters Company Commander of the 203d Military Intelligence Battalion (TECHINT) at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland. During this assignment, he commanded for 22 months leading his company into Iraq to establish the Coalition Joint Captured Material Exploitation Center (CJCMEC) in support of the 75th Exploitation Task Force and later the Iraq Survey Group.

After company command, Col. Roseberry served as the Deputy G2 for the 20th Support Command (CBRNE) During this tour, he deployed to Iraq to serve as the J2 for the Multi-National Corps Iraq redeployment, he returned to the 203d Military Intelligence Battalion in Maryland to serve as the BN S3, later the BN Executive Officer, to spearhead Weapon Intelligence Team (WIT) training for C-IED teams deploying to Iraq and Afghanistan. After this assignment, he attended the National Intelligence University where he graduated with distinction and earned a Master of Science in Strategic Intelligence.

Col. Roseberry then served as the BDE Operations Officer, BDE Plans Officer and a Division Chief at the Defense Intelligence Agency. He then completed two years of Battalion Command of the 24th Military Intelligence Battalion located in Wiesbaden, Germany. He completed an AWC Fellowship at the George C. Marshall Center located in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany where he taught as a Professor of National Security Studies.

His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal (1 OLC), Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (3 OLC), Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal (1 OLC), Joint Service Achievement Medal, Army Achievement Medal (2 OLC), Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal (1 Bronze Star), Iraq Campaign Medal (1 Bronze Star), Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Ranger Tab, Senior Parachutist Badge and Canadian Jump Wings.

After all of these achievements, he returns to Fort Polk to serve as Garrison Commander.

“Here we learned how to lead, we learned how to take care of soldiers and what community cohesion meant," Roseberry said. "We spent our whole army career going from place to place looking for what we found here at Fort Polk and we just never really found it. Just the tight community cohesion, both here on Fort Polk and in the surrounding communities and we are just really excited to be back here to experience that again and to also serve the soldiers and the community here at Fort Polk.”

When he was first stationed at Fort Polk, Roseberry says he completed 40 box rotations in four years. He said he learned operational and tactical skills, as well as how to take care of yourself and take care of your men, and says he will utilize that training in his role as Garrison Commander as he oversees the day to day operation on Fort Polk.

“In my roll now, I understand that while you’re out there fighting, training, or over in Iraq or Afghanistan, that’s it’s important for them to fight with a clear conscious knowing that their family is being taken care of back on the installation," Roseberry said. "That’s my job and that’s what my wife and I intend to do for the next two years.”

Roseberry comes back to Fort Polk with his wife, Rhonda, and their two children.

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