By Rhys C Sitz
A Kirksville Soldier now commands the Missouri National Guardâ??s 138th Forward Support Company in Jefferson City.
Capt. Joshua Winkleman took command of the company, which supports the 1st Battalion, 138th Infantry Regiment, from Capt. James Ellmaker in November.
Lt. Col. Martin Clay, commander of the 1-138th Infantry, said that Winkleman was chosen due to a multitude of high recommendations and prior experience that is ideal for the unit.
â??I know that he will take care of his Soldiers, and that theyâ??ll take care of him,â?? Clay said.Winkleman came to the company after most recently serving as deputy defense movement coordinator with Joint Force Headquarters at the Ike Skelton Training Site. He has seven years of Army service â?? four years active duty and three in the National Guard.
â??This is an exciting opportunity,â?? said Winkleman, who was commissioned as a transportation officer in 2006. â??This unit is one of the best in the nation, and I hope that this new position will give me the opportunity to develop it even further. I will do my best to help them fulfill the mission of our battalion and its commander.â??
The company ranks number one of the 12 like units in the National Guard, when graded on individual Soldier readiness metrics.
Winkleman said he plans on maintaining the unitâ??s high standards.
â??I want to make sure that the mission is accomplished with maximum efficiency, which is achieved only through the proper training of Soldiers,â?? said Winkleman
Winkleman is a 2006 graduate of Winona State University with a degree in Communications, Arts, and Literature Education and received his commission through the Reserve Officer Training Corps.
Winkleman is supported in his career by his wife Lynn, his children Jayden and Jaime, his brother, and his father who all live in northeast Missouri.
â??I owe a lot of who I am to them,â?? Winkleman said.
Winklemanâ??s predecessor, Ellmaker, will move on to be the Operations officer for Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion of the 35th Infantry Division.
â??He served us well through two annual training periods, four field training exercises and multiple inspections.â?? Clay said. â??Heâ??ll do well in his next assignment. His new unit is lucky to have him.â??
Ellmaker, who served as company commander since 2011, said that he gained a lot of experience from the command.
â??Itâ??s the end of an era in my career,â?? Ellmaker said, â??It was an honor to work with these Soldiers, and both a challenge and an opportunity to maintain the standard that this company has set for itself.â??
Ellmaker said he is confident in his replacement.
â??Heâ??ll do well to maintain the development of the Soldiers and maintain the standards we have set,â?? Ellmaker said.