Vermont National Guard Logo News
Articles
News | Nov. 30, 2021

Vermont Guard bids farewell to director of military support

By Joshua Cohen Vermont National Guard Public Affairs

Col. Randall Gates retired from the Vermont Army National Guard on Nov. 30, ending a 38-year military career.

Prior to his retirement Gates was the Director of Military Support.

Gates' career began in 1983 when he enlisted in the U.S. Army as a Combat Engineer. Assigned to the 12th Engineer Battalion of the 8th Infantry Division, Gates spent his first five years of active service in, the now, former West Germany.

“I served for 11 years on the enlisted side and 27 as a commissioned officer, my younger brother was in the military, he encouraged me to join after I graduated from college and, I thought, okay, I’ll try this for a couple of years, well he got out just after I signed up, and I’m the one who ended up staying for a career,” he said.

In 1989, after a successful 2,153-mile hike of the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine, Gates joined the U.S. Army Reserve, continuing his career in the Corps of Engineers where he attained the rank of Staff Sergeant.

After receiving his commission from the California Military Academy in 1993, Gates served as Commander of Bravo Company, 579th Engineer Battalion, California Army National Guard.

In 2001, Gates moved to the Green Mountain State. Transferring to the Vermont National Guard, Gates was placed in command of the 131st Engineer Company. His subsequent command level postings included Head and Head Quarters Company of the 86th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Mountain) and the 15th Civil Support Team.

“I’ve been a lucky person to find myself in a lot of situations that have propelled my career forward, there have been so many wonderful things that have happened over the past 38 years,” Gates remarked.

Gates’ overseas deployments include a construction project in Honduras, one year in Afghanistan from 2003-2004 as an embedded engineer advisor, and an additional 12-month tour in Afghanistan with the Afghan National Security Forces Development Assistance Bureau from 2009-2010.

Prior to his tour in Afghanistan, Gates was the State Family Programs Director from 2005 to 2009. Gates later served as the Director of Military Support from 2013 to 2015. After a three-year command tour with the 15th Civil Support Team, Gates resumed his position as Director of Military Support in 2018.

“In the last ten years I’ve been involved in domestic operations, we are warfighting professionals and, domestic operations are something other than warfighting although no less important,” Gates said.

Among his 18 medals and ribbons, Gates was awarded the Defense Meritorious Service Medal; Meritorious Service Medal with four Oak Leaf Clusters, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters, Army Achievement Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, the Humanitarian Service Medal and NATO Medal.

Gates has a substantial military education comprising: the Engineer Officer Basic and Advanced Courses, Combined Arms and Services Staff School, Civil Support Skills Couse, Anti-Terrorism Level II Course, OPSEC Level II Course and the Nuclear Defense Proliferation Course. Notably, Gates attended the Leadership in Homeland Security Course at the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government.
 

National Guard News
Volodymyr Zelenskyy, president of Ukraine, U.S. Army Maj. Gen. David Baldwin, adjutant general of the California National Guard, and California Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis watch a demonstration of tactical equipment during a visit to the California Air National Guard’s 129th Rescue Wing at Moffett Air National Guard Base, California, Sept. 2, 2021. The California National Guard and Ukraine have been partners under the Department of Defense National Guard Bureau State Partnership Program since 1993.
National Guard Supports Armed Forces of Ukraine
By Sgt. 1st Class Whitney Hughes, | June 8, 2022
ARLINGTON, Va. – Pinned down by a Russian tank and armed with only a failed anti-tank missile, a Ukrainian soldier recently turned to an unlikely source as the most effective weapon available — his cell phone. On the other...

New York Air National Guard Airmen assigned to the 109th Airlift wing deployed to Greenland in support of Exercise Polar Reach May 11-27. The Airmen worked with the Canadian Royal Air Force and the Minnesota Air National Guard to test the capabilities of its Polar Camp Skiway Team.
NY, Minnesota Airmen Hone Ice Runway Construction Skills
By Tech. Sgt. Jamie Spaulding, | June 8, 2022
STRATTON AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, N.Y. – Ten Airmen assigned to the 109th Airlift Wing deployed to Greenland to support Exercise Polar Reach May 11-27.The exercise, a joint international training event conducted by the 109th...

Members of the 166th Airlift Wing Security Forces Squadron transport a simulated wounded team member during an exercise at the New Castle Air National Guard Base, Del., June 6, 2022. The exercise, a part of Operation Gemini, ensures Airmen are trained and mission ready at all times. (Modifications were made to enhance the subject through color correction, cropping and exposure correction.)
Delaware Air Guard Demonstrates Readiness in Graded Exercise
By Senior Airman Brandan Hollis, | June 8, 2022
NEW CASTLE, Del. – After years of preparation, the 166th Airlift Wing performed the Air Mobility Command graded exercise Operation Gemini to demonstrate its Total Force Readiness and ability to operate overseas.The exercise...

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Christopher White, 315th Fighter Squadron commander, deployed to Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, prepares an F-35A Lightning II aircraft for takeoff, June 3, 2022. Members of the 158th Fighter Wing are in Europe to support NATO’s ongoing air policing mission to deter aggression and assure allies and partners in the region.
Vermont Guard Pilot Reaches 1,000-hour Milestone a 3rd Time
By Maj. Meghan Smith, | June 8, 2022
SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. – U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Christopher J. White, the 315th Fighter Squadron commander assigned to the 158th Fighter Wing, Vermont Air National Guard, reached his 1,000th flight hour milestone in the F-35A...

Army Gen. Daniel Hokanson, chief, National Guard Bureau, testifies before the Senate Appropriations Committee, Subcommittee on Defense, during the National Guard and Reserve posture hearing in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington June 7, 2022.
Continued Investments Make Guard Effective, Chief Says
By Air Force Master Sgt. Erich B. Smith | June 7, 2022
ARLINGTON, Va. – The chief of the National Guard Bureau told senators June 7 that continued investments in the National Guard mean it will be able to effectively support the Joint Force while quickly responding to the needs...