Braga taking helm as new garrison commander at Ft. Irwin
Change of command ceremony Thursday
What: Fort Irwin Garrison Change of Command ceremony
Where: Fort Irwin Army installation
Garrison Headquarters building 237
When: Thursday, 9 a.m.
FORT IRWIN• A new officer will head up Fort Irwin’s Garrison Command on Thursday.
Col. Jon Braga will succeed outgoing garrison commander Col. Kurt Pinkerton, according to a Fort Irwin news release.
Pinkerton has served at Fort Irwin for the past two years and was known for being especially involved and connected with both the Barstow and Fort Irwin communities, according to local residents. He will transition to his next assignment as an operations officer at Fort Sam Houston, Texas ,with U.S. Army South, he said.
“This job has really allowed me to see the impact of a community,” Pinkerton said. “Being an infantry officer and leading troops in peacetime and in war you learn about camaraderie and your mission — you’re not always connected to the outside community. As the Garrison Commander at Fort Irwin I’ve been able to see how much people work together to solve problems at the local level and I’m going to miss the community here.”
A change of command ceremony on Thursday will mark the switchover at Fort Irwin, home to the Army’s National Training Center and commanded by Brig. Gen. Ted Martin. The garrison commander is responsible for the installation’s day-to-day operations and facilities including the housing area, recreational facilities and all of the infrastructure that supports the roads and utilities. The position is likened to a city manager, Fort Irwin spokesman Gus Bahena said.
The ceremony is scheduled for 9 a.m. in front of the Garrison Headquarters building 237. The community is invited to attend and access to the installation is required. The U.S. Army Installation Management Central Region Director, Thomas Schoenbeck, will oversee the transition during the ceremony.
Braga most recently served as an Army War College Special Operations Fellow at the Naval Post Graduate School in Monterey over the past year, according to the news release. His military career began after graduating from the U.S. Military Academy and being commissioned as an infantry officer in 1991. He previously served in the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment at the NTC and Fort Irwin. At Fort Bragg, N.C., he commanded at the battalion level and served as a brigade-level operations officer and deputy commander with several deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq, where he commanded a forward deployed joint special operations task force. He attended the Special Forces Qualification Course and served with the 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) at Fort Bragg and Roosevelt Roads in Puerto Rico.
Braga was born in Attleboro, Mass., and is married to the former Melanie Rohrbaugh of Apple Valley. They have four children MacKailey, Madison, Jack and Ryan.