Changing of the guard for Washington's 81st brigade - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Changing of the guard for Washington's 81st brigade

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YAKIMA--A changing of the guard.  The 81st Brigade is under new leadership.

Col. Ronald Kapral and Command Sgt. Major Robert Sweeney led the 81st Heavy Brigade Combat Team of the Washington National Guard for the past two years, including one year deployed in Iraq.

Sunday, they handed the reins to Col. Chris Fowler and CSM Raymond Jay in a ceremony at the Yakima Training Center.

The new colonel told KNDO he is ready for the huge responsibility, and added his success depends on his troops.

"There's quite a few officers, non-commissioned officers and soldiers that make up this [brigade]," Fowler said.  "They're the ones that really come together to accomplish all our missions."

The 81st brigade is made up of almost 3,000 citizen soldiers.  Almost all of them are from Washington state.