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NEWS | March 2, 2022

Colorado Army National Guard commanding general passes responsibility to new leader following unprecedented command

By Staff Sgt. Raymond Rivera, 104th Public Affairs Detachment

U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Douglas Paul handed off command of the Colorado Army National Guard to U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Bren Dee Rogers during a ceremony Feb. 5, 2022, in Loveland, Colorado. 

Rogers, promoted to brigadier general, assumed command of the COARNG while Paul became deputy commanding general for the Army’s Combined Arms Center, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.  

Since he commissioned in 1992, Paul has held many notable positions including commander for Colorado National Guard’s 5th Battalion, 19th Special Forces Group. He has served both in and outside the United States, including Korea, Afghanistan and Iraq. 

“The idea of putting our people first is not necessarily new, but more a reevaluation of priority between people and mission,” Paul said in an interview with the Army Times. “Putting people first comes in two forms – what we need to do, and what we must not do. Through defining these actions, we can build trust with our Soldiers and increase the lethality of our force.” 

After working in operations for U.S. Northern Command, Paul served as deputy commander for the Combined Joint Operations Task Force, finally promoting to the position of commanding general, which also serves as the CONG’s Assistant Adjutant General, Army. 

Paul assumed the responsibility of AAG in October 2019.  Shortly thereafter, and for the duration of his command, he faced some unprecedented challenges including the largest activation in the history of the CONG, the COVID-19 pandemic response, which is still ongoing, and the largest fire in the history of Colorado.  The many decisions he faced impacted not only the Citizen Soldiers of the CONG, but also the citizens of Colorado. 

It was during this time that his manuscript, “People First and Winning Matters,” was published. 

“It was a crazy couple of years to be in command,” The Adjutant General of Colorado Brig. Gen. Laura Clellan said during the ceremony. “When you took command, I doubt that you thought you would be leading during a pandemic.” 

In 2020, amidst the global pandemic, Paul oversaw several of the CONG’s missions in response to COVID-19. This included the building of an alternative care site at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver and providing support to assisted living facilities across the state of Colorado. 

It was also one of the busiest couple of years for deployments, Clellan said. From U.S. Central Command to U.S. European Command, Colorado Soldiers served across the globe. 

More recently, Paul sent COARNG members to support the community in response to the Marshall Fire which burned more than 6,000 acres of land and destroyed more than 1,000 structures. This left many Colorado residents without homes. The Guard members are credited with safeguarding the burn area, ensuring the safety of the populace traveling into and out of the neighborhoods, and providing traffic control points during a visit by the President of the United States Joe Biden. 

Under Paul’s command, CONG members supported the 59th Presidential Inauguration in the nation’s capital, and the 1st Battalion, 157th Infantry deployed its first contingent to support overseas operations since World War II after the unit re-established in Colorado in 2010. 

“We’re a volunteer force, and it was truly remarkable to see so many hands raise without questions asked to go forth and do great things,” Paul said. “And that’s what I’m most proud of when I look at these formations today.” 

In additional to thanking the many people that served on his staff, Paul said it was an honor and a privilege to lead the COARNG and that he hoped to be of value to all his colleagues as he continues on in his career. 

“Your leadership has been truly appreciated,” Clellan said to Paul.