Gillock takes command of 997th Brigade Support Battalion

Lt. Col. Molly Gillock (left) accepts the command flag of the 997th Brigade Support Battalion from Col. Thomas Burke, commander of the 130th Field Artillery Brigade, during a change of command ceremony June 16 in Manhattan. (Photo by Steve Larson, Public Affairs Office)

By Steve Larson
Public Affairs Office

Lt. Col. Erica Christie relinquished command of the Kansas National Guard’s 997th Brigade Support Battalion to Lt. Col. Molly Gillock during a change of command ceremony June 16 at the Kansas National Guard armory in Manhattan.

Christie had been commander of the battalion since it was activated in July 2016. Standing up the battalion was “a lot of hard work, a lot of extra weekends, which nobody complained about.”

Chrisitie said leaving the battalion produced “mixed emotions at this point.”

“It’s always a blessing to take command and you have a lot more time when you’re not in command,” she said, “but there’s 584 of my favorite people that I just said good-bye to.”

Christie stepped down from her position to attend the U.S. Army War College in Carlyle, Pennsylvania, where she will study strategic studies. She will also transition to a job at Joint Forces Headquarters Kansas.

For her part, Gillock said she had big shoes to fill, but she was ready to get to work.

“I’m very, very excited to have the opportunity to be a battalion commander,” said Gillock. “I’m looking forward to working with the soldiers. I’ve been out here for the last two weeks… to shadow Colonel Christie and get her battle rhythm and work with Sergeant Major Posch.

“I’m going to pick up where she left off. We’ve got a lot of training challenges with a new battalion, a lot of work to do. We’re going to keep pushing on.”