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News from the Oklahoma National Guard

NEWS | June 14, 2024

Oklahoma National Guard’s 45th Infantry Brigade welcomes new commander

By Cpl. Danielle Rayon, Oklahoma National Guard

OKLAHOMA CITY – The 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, Oklahoma Army National Guard, held a change of command ceremony at Camp Gruber Training Center near Braggs, Oklahoma, June 11, 2024, marking the end of Col. Andrew Ballenger's tenure and welcoming Col. Khalid Hussein as the new commander.

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VIDEO | 01:30 | Oklahoma National Guard’s 45th Infantry Brigade welcomes new commander


“I've had the honor and privilege of serving in combat with these two great officers multiple times,” said Maj. Gen. Thomas H. Mancino, adjutant general for Oklahoma. “It is absolutely an honor and a privilege for me to be here today.”

Ballenger, a native of Pryor, Oklahoma, has led the 45th IBCT since August 2022. Under his command, the brigade has seen numerous deployments and training exercises, including the 2023 deployment of Task Force Tomahawk, a task force made up of multiple units of the 45th deployed to support the Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa. That deployment was the single largest deployment of 45th IBCT Soldiers since the brigade’s Afghanistan deployment in 2011.

“Thank you for having the faith in God and country to raise your hand, to serve and to giving your all,” Ballenger said. “Be all you can be. Strive for excellence in everything you do.”

Maj. Gen. Thomas Mancino, adjutant general for Oklahoma, passes the unit colors to Col. Khalid Hussein, incoming commander of the 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, Oklahoma Army National Guard, during a change of command ceremony held at Camp Gruber Training Center near Braggs, Oklahoma, June 11, 2024. Command of the 45th IBCT passed from Col. Andrew Ballenger, who led the unit since 2022 through numerous deployments and training exercises. (Oklahoma National Guard photo by Cpl. Danielle Rayon)
SLIDESHOW | images | 240610-Z-IN656-1003 Maj. Gen. Thomas Mancino, adjutant general for Oklahoma, passes the unit colors to Col. Khalid Hussein, incoming commander of the 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, Oklahoma Army National Guard, during a change of command ceremony held at Camp Gruber Training Center near Braggs, Oklahoma, June 11, 2024. Command of the 45th IBCT passed from Col. Andrew Ballenger, who led the unit since 2022 through numerous deployments and training exercises. (Oklahoma National Guard photo by Cpl. Danielle Rayon)
Col. Khalid Hussein, incoming commander of the 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, speaks during a change of command ceremony held at Camp Gruber Training Center near Braggs, Oklahoma, June 11, 2024. Hussein brings extensive experience to his new role, having served in numerous command and staff positions within the IBCT. Outgoing commander, Col. Andrew Ballenger, served in the position since 2022. (Oklahoma National Guard photo by Cpl. Danielle Rayon)
SLIDESHOW | images | 240610-Z-IN656-1006 Col. Khalid Hussein, incoming commander of the 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, speaks during a change of command ceremony held at Camp Gruber Training Center near Braggs, Oklahoma, June 11, 2024. Hussein brings extensive experience to his new role, having served in numerous command and staff positions within the IBCT. Outgoing commander, Col. Andrew Ballenger, served in the position since 2022. (Oklahoma National Guard photo by Cpl. Danielle Rayon)
Members of the 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, Oklahoma Army National Guard, stand in formation during a change of command ceremony between Col. Andrew Ballenger, outgoing commander, and Col. Khalid Hussein, incoming commander, at Camp Gruber Training Center near Braggs, Oklahoma, June 11, 2024.   Ballenger commanded the 45th IBCT since August 2022, leading the brigade through numerous deployments and training exercises, enhancing its readiness and operational capabilities. (Oklahoma National Guard photo by Cpl. Danielle Rayon)
SLIDESHOW | images | 240610-Z-IN656-1005 Members of the 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, Oklahoma Army National Guard, stand in formation during a change of command ceremony between Col. Andrew Ballenger, outgoing commander, and Col. Khalid Hussein, incoming commander, at Camp Gruber Training Center near Braggs, Oklahoma, June 11, 2024. Ballenger commanded the 45th IBCT since August 2022, leading the brigade through numerous deployments and training exercises, enhancing its readiness and operational capabilities. (Oklahoma National Guard photo by Cpl. Danielle Rayon)
Members of the 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, Oklahoma Army National Guard, stand in formation during a change of command ceremony between Col. Andrew Ballenger, outgoing commander, and Col. Khalid Hussein, incoming commander, at Camp Gruber Training Center near Braggs, Oklahoma, June 11, 2024.   Ballenger commanded the 45th IBCT since August 2022, leading the brigade through numerous deployments and training exercises, enhancing its readiness and operational capabilities. (Oklahoma National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Herbert Hailey)
SLIDESHOW | images | 240611-Z-A3542-1007 Members of the 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, Oklahoma Army National Guard, stand in formation during a change of command ceremony between Col. Andrew Ballenger, outgoing commander, and Col. Khalid Hussein, incoming commander, at Camp Gruber Training Center near Braggs, Oklahoma, June 11, 2024. Ballenger commanded the 45th IBCT since August 2022, leading the brigade through numerous deployments and training exercises, enhancing its readiness and operational capabilities. (Oklahoma National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Herbert Hailey)
Col. Andrew Ballenger, outgoing commander of the 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, Oklahoma Army National Guard, speaks during a change of command ceremony between him and the IBCT’s incoming commander, Col. Khalid Hussein, at Camp Gruber Training Center near Braggs, Oklahoma, June 11, 2024. Ballenger commanded the 45th IBCT since August 2022, leading the brigade through numerous deployments and training exercises, enhancing its readiness and operational capabilities. (Oklahoma National Guard photo by Cpl. Danielle Rayon)
SLIDESHOW | images | 240610-Z-IN656-1004 Col. Andrew Ballenger, outgoing commander of the 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, Oklahoma Army National Guard, speaks during a change of command ceremony between him and the IBCT’s incoming commander, Col. Khalid Hussein, at Camp Gruber Training Center near Braggs, Oklahoma, June 11, 2024. Ballenger commanded the 45th IBCT since August 2022, leading the brigade through numerous deployments and training exercises, enhancing its readiness and operational capabilities. (Oklahoma National Guard photo by Cpl. Danielle Rayon)
(From left) Maj. Gen. Thomas H. Mancino, adjutant general for Oklahoma, Col. Andrew Ballengr, outgoing commander of the 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, Sgt. Maj. Joe Van Ausdall, operations sergeant major for the 45th IBCT, and Col. Khalid Hussein, incoming commander of the 45th IBCT, Oklahoma Army National Guard, conduct an inspection of ranks during a change of command ceremony held at Camp Gruber Training Center near Braggs, Oklahoma, June 11, 2024. Ballenger commanded the 45th IBCT since August 2022, leading the brigade through numerous deployments and training exercises, enhancing its readiness and operational capabilities. (Oklahoma National Guard photo by Cpl. Danielle Rayon)
SLIDESHOW | images | 240610-Z-IN656-1002 (From left) Maj. Gen. Thomas H. Mancino, adjutant general for Oklahoma, Col. Andrew Ballengr, outgoing commander of the 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, Sgt. Maj. Joe Van Ausdall, operations sergeant major for the 45th IBCT, and Col. Khalid Hussein, incoming commander of the 45th IBCT, Oklahoma Army National Guard, conduct an inspection of ranks during a change of command ceremony held at Camp Gruber Training Center near Braggs, Oklahoma, June 11, 2024. Ballenger commanded the 45th IBCT since August 2022, leading the brigade through numerous deployments and training exercises, enhancing its readiness and operational capabilities. (Oklahoma National Guard photo by Cpl. Danielle Rayon)
Bridget Ballenger, wife of Col. Andrew Ballenger, outgoing commander for the Oklahoma Army National Guard’s 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, receives a bouquet of roses during a change of command ceremony between Ballenger and Col. Khalid Hussein, incoming commander for the 45th IBCT held at the Camp Gruber Training Center near Braggs, Oklahoma, June 11, 2024. Ballenger commanded the 45th IBCT since August 2022, leading the brigade through numerous deployments and training exercises, enhancing its readiness and operational capabilities. (Oklahoma National Guard photo by Cpl. Danielle Rayon)
SLIDESHOW | images | 240610-Z-IN656-1001 Bridget Ballenger, wife of Col. Andrew Ballenger, outgoing commander for the Oklahoma Army National Guard’s 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, receives a bouquet of roses during a change of command ceremony between Ballenger and Col. Khalid Hussein, incoming commander for the 45th IBCT held at the Camp Gruber Training Center near Braggs, Oklahoma, June 11, 2024. Ballenger commanded the 45th IBCT since August 2022, leading the brigade through numerous deployments and training exercises, enhancing its readiness and operational capabilities. (Oklahoma National Guard photo by Cpl. Danielle Rayon)


Ballenger has held various command and staff positions at multiple levels, including significant roles within the National Guard Bureau and United States Army Europe - Africa. He was awarded the Legion of Merit for his dedication to the 45th IBCT.

The ceremony included a formal passing of the brigade colors, a tradition that represents the passing of the command and responsibility of the unit to the new commander.

Hussein brings extensive experience to his new role, having served in numerous command and staff positions, including deployments to Afghanistan, Iraq, and support operations during Hurricane Katrina. He holds a Juris Doctor from Oklahoma City University School of Law and a Master of Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College.

“I stand here honored to assume this command and completely humbled,” Hussein said. “I thank you for your trust and confidence and for the opportunity to lead this great organization.”
Video by Cpl. Danielle Rayon
45th Field Artillery Brigade change of command
Oklahoma National Guard
June 15, 2024 | 1:34
OKLAHOMA CITY - The Oklahoma Army National Guard’s 45th Field Artillery Brigade held a change of command ceremony at the Mustang Armed Forces Reserve Center in Mustang, Oklahoma, June 15, 2024, signifying the end of Col. Johnnie Dale Moss’ tenure and welcoming Lt. Col. William Kale Rogers as the new commander. “I never had to worry about it with you in command,” said Maj. Gen. Thomas H. Mancino, adjutant general for Oklahoma, “I just couldn't be happier, more proud of you, for successfully completing this assignment.” Moss’ military journey began in February 1991, when he enlisted into the OKARNG as an infantryman. He later commissioned in 1994 and served in multiple positions throughout his career, including deployments to Kuwait, Azerbaijan and Germany. During the ceremony, Moss was presented with the Legion of Merit, recognizing him for his exceptionally outstanding conduct and meritorious service to the United States.
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