Guardsman honored for service as deputy commander

Maj. Gen. Stephen L. Danner, the adjutant general of the Missouri National Guard, presented Col. William Blaylock with the meritorious service medal at Ike Skelton Training Site on Oct. 13 for his service as the deputy commander of the 35th Engineer Brigade from October 2009 to February 2012. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Antony Lee, 70th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment).

Maj. Gen. Stephen L. Danner, the adjutant general of the Missouri National Guard, presented Col. William Blaylock with the meritorious service medal at Ike Skelton Training Site on Oct. 13 for his service as the deputy commander of the 35th Engineer Brigade from October 2009 to February 2012. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Antony Lee, 70th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment).

By Sgt. Antony S. Lee
ngmo.pao@us.army.mil

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - An officer in the Missouri National Guard, Col. William Blaylock, was honored for his time and service as the deputy commander of the 35th Engineer Brigade recently at the Ike Skelton Training Site.

Blaylock, the director of plans and exercises of joint force headquarters, served as deputy commander from Oct. 1, 2009 to Feb. 13, 2012. He was awarded the meritorious service medal for his time in the 35th Engineer Brigade, based in Fort Leonard Wood, by Lt. Col. John Findley.

"Col. Blaylock's outstanding performance, expertise, professionalism and dedication were instrumental to the success of the 35th Engineer Brigade during a tumultuous period," Findley said, pointing to several state emergency duties and a deployment to Afghanistan.

Blaylock said the most memorable experience happened as he was helping lead a National Level Exercise and when the devastating tornado hit Joplin in May 2011.

"We immediately shifted focus," Blaylock said. "We went from doing an exercise on a national disaster to actually supporting a natural disaster recovery. It was very poignant because we were doing a real-world mission trying to help out the people of Joplin."

He added that the 35th Brigade, which he said is very "Soldier-focused," maintained work on the exercise during the response to the tornado.

Blaylock said he had a "great experience" during his time as the deputy commander as the 35th and that he hated to leave.

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