Mobile-based Guard unit welcomes new commander

Release #2014072301

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Members of the 226th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade salute during the playing of the National Anthem at the change of command ceremony.

MONTGOMERY, AL (07/23/2014)(readMedia)-- Col. Sylvester Cannon relinquished command of the Alabama National Guard's 226th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade headquartered in Mobile, Alabama, to Col. Thomas M. Vickers Jr.

"It has been a tremendous honor to lead this great organization for the past three years," said Cannon. "The Soldiers of the 226 MEB have made me successful, as I know they will make Col. Vickers successful during his command."

Vickers is familiar with the 226th MEB, where he was assigned as the deputy commander from December 2010 through 2011. He was last assigned to the 135th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), out of Birmingham, as the chief of staff.

Both Cannon and Vickers were recently deployed in similar missions. While deployed to Kuwait with the 135th ESC, Vickers managed and supervised logistics operations and contractors operating in the region. Cannon deployed to Afghanistan with the 226th where he supervised contract management, logistics and security in the Kabul Base Cluster.

"This is the next command that I wanted due to the quality of people in the organization and the importance of that headquarters mission in support of DSCA (Defense Support of Civil Authorities) operations," said Vickers. "It is an honor to be given this opportunity and I look forward to the chance to be part of such a fantastic unit."

In addition to his recent Kuwait deployment, Vickers deployed to Iraq in 2007 - 2008. His military awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal with one oak leaf, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal with two oak leafs, the Army Achievement Medal with two oak leafs and the Combat Action Badge. Vickers was commissioned a second lieutenant from the Officer Candidate School, Fort Benning, Georgia, as an Engineer Officer in August 1988. He served on active duty in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. He joined the Alabama Army National Guard in April 1986, and has served in multiple assignments including multiple commands at company, battalion, and brigade levels. He was promoted to colonel in February 2012.