Vermont National Guard Public Affairs
Col. Leonard Poirier assumed command of the largest military command in Vermont during a change of command ceremony at Camp Ethan Allen Training Site on June 4 at 10 a.m.
During the ceremony, Col. Brey Hopkins, 86th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Mountain), relinquished his command after serving since June 2020.
“The Soldiers on this field represent the very best of this nation. As always, the 86th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Mountain) has been in the forefront of world changing events. From force protection at the US Capital and response to the COVID-19 pandemic to Kabul International Airport during the withdrawal and heightened tensions in Africa and the Balkans … the Alpine Brigade was there,” said Hopkins.
The passing of the brigade colors from the outgoing commander to the incoming commander symbolizes the transfer of command. Command Sgt. Maj. Todd Gagnon, the senior enlisted Soldier for the 86th IBCT (MTN), passed the colors to Hopkins, who in turn passed the colors to Brig. Gen. James Pabis, deputy adjutant general, Vermont Army National Guard, hence relinquishing his command. Pabis then passes the colors to Poirier, entrusting him with the responsibility and care of the 86th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Mountain). Poirier then passes the colors to Gagnon, completing the symbolic change of command.
“It is truly an honor and privilege to be able to serve as the Commander of the 86th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (MTN), and to lead some of the finest Soldiers in the United States Army as we continue to build on the Brigade’s proud legacy,” said Poirier.
Poirier’s wife, Col. Tracey Poirier, daughters Emma and Beth Poirier, and son Will Poirier, along with other family and friends witnessed the ceremony. Special guests, senior leaders, and fellow soldiers also attended the historical occasion.
Nearly 900 Soldiers from the 86th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (MTN) recently returned from the largest deployment of Vermont Soldiers since 2010.