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Minnesota National Guard
Lt. Col. Williams takes charge of General Studies Battalion

CAMP RIPLEY, Minn -- The 2nd Battalion (General Studies), 175th Regional Training Institute, Camp Ripley, Minn welcomed a new battalion commander as Minnesota National Guard Lt. Col. Andrew Trelstad passed the reigns of command to Lt. Col. Trancey Williams in a ceremony held at Camp Ripley May 7

"It's my honor to welcome Lt. Col. Trancey Williams and his wife Jill to the RTI team," said Col Gregg Parks, 175th Regimental commander  "This has been a great command for Lt. Col. Trelstad and his wife Mary and I appreciate everything you have done for us"

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Lt. Col. Trelstad had been in command of the general studies battalion since 2008  During his time as the commander, the battalion received several accolades They graduated 2,897 Soldiers from the various programs the RTI has, a 985% graduation rate  Also, during his time as commander the RTI added a new program, the 68W, Combat Medic, course to the school offerings  The RTI also received Center of Excellence ratings, the highest honor possible, in the Cavalry Scout program and the Maintenance Instruction program

"The bar is set very high for Trancey as he and his team take on the mission now," said Parks  "I appreciate all of the things you (Trelstad) have done and wish you the best in what life brings you"

"I look at the quality of the leaderships that he (Williams) has and what he brings, in his experience, maturity, knowledge and energy level," said Maj. Gen. Richard Nash, Minnesota Adjutant General  "I see Trancey Williams as a leader of Soldiers and an initiator and visionary  His being an African-American is a plus as we work to diversify our force"

"This is something I am looking forward to," said Williams  "It is historic and I think that this will open the vision of the communities of color, as they see this is something that can be obtained in the Minnesota National Guard"

One of the Adjutant General's top priorities he established when he took command of the Minnesota National Guard was to diversify the force, according to the memorandum he sent out to the force

"I see diversity, so does Gen McKinley (chief, National Guard Bureau) as a force multiplier," said Williams, who's full time position with the Minnesota National Guard is the Equal Opportunity Officer  "You don't go to war with one weapons system, neither should we go to war with one homogeneous anything  Many situations may call for different solutions, diversity will give us the toolkit to pull out the right solution for the right situation"

The RTI was one of William's first choices for taking command of a battalion  He believes that the best way to prevent future problems throughout the forces is to properly train Soldiers

"My grandmother and mother used to always tell me, stop a problem before it's a problem and you wont have a problem," said Williams  "The only way were gonna do that is through training"

By 1st Lt Kenneth R Toole
Camp Ripley Public Affairs Officer
May 7, 2011

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