Garrison company welcomes new commander

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At a May 18 ceremony on the lawn of the Fort Irwin United States Army Garrison headquarters, Capt. J. Kenneth Sandifer took command of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Fort Irwin USAG, from Capt. Frank Lenart III.

Lenart served as HHC commander since February 2014 and leaves Fort Irwin for his next duty assignment in Germany.

Sandifer has served here with the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment as a plans officer for the past 16 months.

In his remarks at the ceremony, Fort Irwin USAG Commander Col. Jon Braga thanked Lenart for his leadership.

“His leadership was truly a command team, with First Sergeant (Jeffrey) Jackson and together, along with the great soldiers at HHC, they truly made a difference,” Braga said. “They increased the readiness of the company, solidified the culture and the resiliency of the command, through continued Strong Bonds retreats, physical training, and earning the first-ever safety streamers for the company.”

Sandifer was born near Liverpool, England and grew up near Houston, Texas. He graduated from Abilene Christian University in 1998 with a bachelor’s degree in human resources management. After working in the transportation industry and as an elementary school teacher, he enlisted in the Army in 2004. He served as a paratrooper with 2nd infantry Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, deploying to Iraq in 2007-2008. After being commissioned a second lieutenant armor officer in June 2009, Sandifer served in various assignments with the 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood, including a deployment to Basrah in 2011.