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NEWS | June 26, 2016

Pillion takes command of Camp Pendleton

By Master Sgt. A.J. Coyne | Virginia National Guard Public Affairs

Lt. Col. Timothy Pillion took command of Camp Pendleton Collective Training Center from Lt. Col. Elena Scarbrough during a traditional change of command ceremony June 23, 2016, in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

Brig. Gen. Walter L. Mercer, the Virginia National Guard Assistant Adjutant General – Army, presided over the exchange of colors that represented the transfer of command from Scarbrough to Pillion.

“I’ve worked around Tim for many years and I know he is a professional leader who gets results and takes care of his people,” Mercer said. “I’ve watched both these officers serve over the years and I can tell you this command is transitioning from one very good leader to another.”

Camp Pendleton is a state-owned, 328-acre installation which provides training facilities for National Guard units, as well as all other Department of Defense, active duty and reserve units as well as public safety organizations. It houses the Virginia Commonwealth ChalleNGe Youth Academy, the Virginia Air National Guard’s 203rd RED HORSE Squadron, and the Virginia Army National Guard’s 529th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion and Troop C, 2nd Battalion, 183rd Cavalry Regiment.

The post features administrative buildings, conference facilities, barracks, classrooms, dining facilities, a live-fire qualification range and nine different virtual trainers as well as a chapel, fitness center, distance learning center, wooded training areas, helipad, land navigation course, beach and amphibious landing site.

“You have joined a great group of professional Soldiers and civilians and I know you’re going to feel welcome here,” Mercer said to Pillion. “This is a very unique command. You will be working in roles not always seen as a commander as you interact with and continue to build relationships with the local community and public leadership. I know you’ll do a great job and I look forward to you doing great things here.”

“I’ve always been blessed with great coworkers and great staffs in my previous assignments and it’s evident that won’t change in this assignment,” Pillion said. “The Camp Pendleton staff takes great pride in the quality of their work and they’re the best at what they do. I look forward to working with each of you to continue to grow Camp Pendleton.”

“It’s very obvious that Lt. Col. Scarbrough has established many relationships in the Virginia Beach community,” he added. “I promise to continue to foster those relationships and build new ones.”

Scarbrough will be retiring after 20 years of active federal service in the active Army and National Guard.

“The fact that there are this many dignitaries and such a diverse group here is fairly telling about the respect that Lt. Col. Scarbrough has earned in the community,” Mercer said. “While her military accomplishments are many, it is really her interface with the Virginia Beach/Tidewater community that reflects her excellence in this command.”

In the last two years Scarbrough established Camp Pendleton as “the central hub for local emergency management training and a key location for integrated state and federal response planning and preparation events,” according to Mercer.

“Her commitment in the pursuit of excellence have really propelled SMR to this position and earned the trust and respect of her superiors and subordinates,” Mercer said. “Great work and please know that the leaders across the state recognize your accomplishments and the impact you’ve had on Camp Pendleton and the Virginia National Guard.”

Pillion, who most recently served as the deputy commander of the Virginia Beach-based 329th Regional Support Group, is a 1991 graduate of Morehead State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Government and a 1999 graduate of Lincoln Memorial University with Master of Business Administration. Pillion was commissioned through the Reserve Officer Training Corps and his first assignment was as an Infantry Platoon Leader in the Kentucky Army National Guard. He joined the Virginia Army National Guard in 1993 and served as a platoon leader and executive officer in the 1033rd Transportation Company. In 1996 Pillion was selected for command of the 1032nd Transportation Company and served with the 1032nd until selected for Active Guard/Reserve Duty as the battalion training officer and assistant S3 for the 1030th Engineer Battalion in 2000. Subsequent assignments included battalion operations officer and battalion support operations officer with the 1030th, executive officer with the 529th CSSB, Chief of International Affairs, JFHQ-VA, and deputy Inspector General, JFHQ-VA. In 2012 Pillion was selected for command of the 1030th Transportation Battalion and served there until 2015 when he joined the 329th Regional Support Group.

His military education includes Infantry Officer Basic Course, Engineer Officer Advance Course, Transportation Officer Advance Course, Airborne School, Anti-terrorism Officer Course, Combined Arms Services Staff School, Command and General Staff College, Army Inspector General School, and U.S. Air Force Installation Inspector General Course.

Scarbrough, who was the first Army nurse to command an installation in the history Virginia National Guard, graduated from Rutgers University with a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing in 1996 and immediately received her commission as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army. She served as a staff nurse at Walter Reed Army Medical Center from 1996-1999 and head nurse, pediatrics, at Fort Lee, Virginia, from 1999-2001. Scarbrough then transitioned to the Virginia Army National Guard in an Active Guard Reserve capacity. Her first assignment was the Army Medical Department Strength Manager from 2001-2004. She earned top recruiter in the nation in 2002 and earned the Master Recruiting Badge. Scarbrough then served as the Occupational Health Nurse from 2004-2005 before commanding Company C, 429th Brigade Support Battalion from 2005-2008. In 2008, she became the deputy State Surgeon, responsible for the medical readiness of the entire Virginia Army National Guard. Scarbrough took command of Camp Pendleton in May 2012.

Scarbrough completed her Master of Science in Leadership from South University in 2014 and the LEAD Hampton Roads program in 2015. She was recognized as Inside Business Hampton Roads Women in Business 2015 Businesswoman of the Year and received Lifetime Honorary Member of the Virginia Association of Volunteer Rescue Squads for support for public safety.

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