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NEWS | Feb. 21, 2023

Kobernik succeeds Martin as 183rd RTI commander

By Sgt. 1st Class Terra C. Gatti | Virginia National Guard Public Affairs Office

Col. Kurt K. Kobernik took command  of the Fort Pickett-based 183rd Regiment, Regional Training Institute from Col. Charles B. Martin Jr. Feb. 11, 2023, in a traditional change of command ceremony held at Fort Pickett, Virginia. Brig. Gen. K. Weedon Gallagher, the Virginia National Guard Assistant Adjutant General - Army, presided over the exchange of organizational colors signifying the transfer of command from Martin to Kobernik.
“It’s because of the warriors at RTI that Charlie was successful and it’s because of the warriors at RTI that Kurt will be successful, I have no doubt,” Gallagher said during his remarks. “We are very diligent about who we put in command and who we put in the command teams for RTI because we know what a valuable asset you are.”
Martin took command of the 183rd RTI Aug. 1, 2020, just as training courses were restarting following a months-long pause due to the COVID concerns. The following January, with short notice, RTI instructors provided training for more than 1,500 Virginia National Guard personnel mobilized to Washington, D.C. to support local and federal authorities. Then, in August 2021, infrastructure requirements related to Operation Allies Welcome necessitated the use of the RTI facility. With just 30 days to plan, courses from all three of the RTI’s battalions shifted to other locations across the state. Additionally, during Martin’s tenure, the 183rd RTI earned a 98.5 percent following their accreditation assessment.
“These are all examples of how innovative, adaptive and flexible this organization and its leadership is,” Martin said. “I couldn’t be more proud.”
During his remarks, Martin also recognized several Soldiers within the RTI and thanked them for their hard work and support during his tenure.
“Kurt, good luck and Godspeed with this organization,” Martin said. “You probably come in with a mind of things that you want to accomplish and let’s hope that you can get those things done without some curveballs coming your way; and even if they do, just feel confident you’ve got the leaders here who can make things happen.”
Kobernik serves as the Virginia National Guard’s Director of Operations in a full-time capacity and previously served in numerous roles throughout the 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team. Gallagher said that in those roles, Kobernik was a consumer of the RTI product: better trained Soldiers and leaders.
“He grew up and commanded in the IBCT and he was the consumer of better Soldiers, better trained Soldiers, better trained leaders because of the work that RTI does and I know he has an appreciation for it,” Gallagher said about Kobernik.
“To the Soldiers of the regiment, I’m honored to have the opportunity to lead you,” Kobernik said. “My promise to you is that you’ll get my best leadership always. I know that whatever challenges await us, we will succeed.”
Leaders Biographies:
Col. Charles Martin joined the Virginia Army National Guard in 1994, serving first as an infantryman, before graduating from Virginia Officer Candidate School and being commissioned as an Engineer Officer in 1996. During his 26 years of military service, Martin served in key command and staff positions, to include engineer company commander, brigade engineer officer, battalion executive officer, 29th Infantry Division G5 chief of plans, engineer battalion commander and primary joint staff assignments at Joint Forces Headquarters – Virginia. Martin is a graduate of the Engineer Officer Basic Course, Engineer Officer Advanced Course, Combined Arms and Service Staff School, Intermediate Level Education Course and the U.S. Army War College. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in History and Political Science from Longwood College and a Masters in Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College.
Col. Kurt Kobernik began his military career upon graduating from the University of Washington and commissioning as an ordnance officer in 1999. He served with the 2nd Infantry Division in the Republic of South Korea and deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom as a platoon leader in the 82nd Airborne Division. After that, Kobernik transitioned into the Virginia Army National Guard as an infantry officer and …served in key command staff positions, to include battle captain, company commander, plans officer, battalion & brigade operations officer, infantry battalion commander, executive officer to the adjutant general of Virginia and primary joint staff assignments at Joint Forces Headquarters – Virginia.

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