75th Troop Command Change of Command

Outgoing commander, Col. Douglas Clay relinquished command to incoming commander, Lt. Col Timothy Starke, during the change of command of the 75th Troop Command at Bowman Field in Louisville March 7, 2021. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Jesse Elboaub)

Story by Staff Sgt. Benjamin Crane, State Public Affairs

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The 75th Troop Command leadership changed with the passing of the brigade guidon during a Change of Command ceremony at Bowman Field March 7.

Outgoing commander, Lt. Col. Douglas D. Clay, handed over the reins of the unit to Lt. Col. Timothy R. Starke.

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“Colonel Tim Starke is one of the finest officers and people I have had the pleasure to serve alongside,” said Brig. Gen Robert Larkin, deputy Adjutant General –Army. “He is a consummate professional and cares deeply for the Soldiers of the Kentucky Guard.”

Starke said he is ready and excited to get to work with his troops and is thankful for the new opportunity.

“Being selected for command of the 75th is a tremendous honor, but more importantly it is an immense responsibility; ensuring that our Soldiers have caring and engaged leadership, opportunities to develop personally and professionally, and the resources they need to train and build readiness is my job, and I take that extremely seriously,” said Starke. 

But as one man takes over, one man leaves the position. One that that was personal to Clay and as he leaves the 75th, he wants them to know he holds them in high regard.

“I have absolutely loved my time as the commander of the 75th Troop Command,” said Clay. “Over the course of 24 months we have accomplished so much in such unprecedented times for our state and nation; With such a diverse group of units from Infantry to Cyber Soldiers there hasn’t been a moment where we became bored or complacent.”

Outgoing commander, Col. Douglas Clay speaks to those in attendance during the change of command of the 75th Troop Command at Bowman Field in Louisville March 7, 2021. The ceremony took place place in front of family, 75th troops and distinguished guests. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Jesse Elboaub)

Over the last two years, he has overseen the deployment and redeployment of the Cyber warriors, successfully deployed the 1163rd ASMC to Poland, prepared the 1-149th Infantry Battalion for deployment, enhanced the capabilities and readiness in the 20th Military Intelligence Company. He created a winning and results oriented culture in the 101st MCPOD which enhanced our relationship with the 101st Airborne Division. He also helped prepare the Brigade headquarters to participate in Operation TRADEWINDs in Guyana this summer 2021 amongst other notable accomplishments.

His parting words for the unit he started his National Guard career with were of appreciation and support.

 “To the Soldiers of the 75th Troop Command, all that I would like to say is a simple Thank You! This Brigade has taught me more about leadership than I could ever teach them. I was privileged to serve as the Commander and be a small part of the camaraderie, culture, and family atmosphere that make the organization great. The 75th Troop Command and all of its units are great because of the people standing in our formations and their willingness to commit to something greater than self”.

He also shared glowing remarks for the incoming commander.

“There is not a more talented leader in our organization than Tim Starke. Anything that he is a part of is overwhelmingly successful and I have no doubt that he will take the Brigade to even greater levels of achievement,” said Clay. “He is surrounded by an enormous amount of talented leaders across the Brigade. He is blessed to serve alongside Kentucky’s best.”

The incoming commander will be bringing his Soldier first mentality as he sets goals for the Brigade.

“Learning about the people in our units, their families, their skill sets and their goals for the future is what I am most excited about as I assume command.  We have amazing Soldiers in every formation in the Brigade, and my guidance is to put people first—which means ensuring that they are fit, disciplined, trained, well-led and cared for,” said Starke.

The 75th Troop Command has many deployments over the years and have served in Iraq and Afghanistan and includes the 206th Engineer Battalion and the 103rd Chemical Battalion.

Outgoing commander, Army Col. Douglas Clay relinquished command to incoming commander, Army Lt. Col. Tim Starke, during the change of command of the 75th Troop Command at Bowman Field in Louisville March 7, 2021. The ceremony took place place in front of family, 75th troops and distinguished guests. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Jesse Elboaub)

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