Home News-Free La. National Guard’s Cavalry welcomes new commander

La. National Guard’s Cavalry welcomes new commander

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The Louisiana National Guard's 2nd Squadron, 108th Cavalry Regiment, 256th Infantry Brigade Combat Team's color guard presents the squadron and national colors during an official change of command ceremony at Erbil Air Base in Iraq, May 23, 2021. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Noshoba Davis)

By Staff Sgt. Noshoba Davis, 256th Infantry Brigade Combat Team

ERBIL AIR BASE, Iraq – The Louisiana National Guard’s (LANG) 2nd Squadron,
108th Cavalry Regiment, 256th Infantry Brigade Combat Team welcomed Lt. Col.
Michael Poche as their new commander during an official change of command
ceremony in Iraq, May 23.

Poche assumed command from Lt. Col. Stephen Luebbert, who has served as
commander since November 2019. Luebbert has been selected to attend the
United States Army War College Fellowship at the Massachusetts Institute of
Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

During his time as squadron commander, Luebbert led the squadron through
mobilization training, COVID-19 response, six named hurricanes and two
annual training periods.

“Our success is due to the leaders and Troopers of the 2-108th Cavalry and a
shared sense of purpose,” said Luebbert. “Since my first days here, I have
witnessed the comradery of extraordinary young men and women. The Troopers,
who comprise this squadron, are simply the best I have ever worked with.
Every day they display grit, talent, compassion, courage and commitment to
one another in ways rarely encountered in one’s career.”

While deployed, Luebbert served as the Deputy Base Defense Commander for
Erbil Air Base where the squadron’s missions ranged from convoy escorts to
aerial defense operations.

Luebbert received his commission through the LANG’s OCS Program in 2000. He
holds a Master’s of Science in National Security and Conflict Resolution
from the American Military University and works for the LANG full time.

Before becoming squadron commander, Luebbert served as the squadron
executive officer for two years where he led squadron operations for
multiple brigade exercises to include rotations at eXportable Combat
Training Capability (XCTC) at Camp Shelby, Mississippi and the Joint
Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, Louisiana and numerous all hazard
responses.

Some of Luebberts’s awards and decorations include the Meritorious Service
Medal with one oak leaf cluster, Army Commendation Medal with “C” device and
eight oak leaf clusters, Army Achievement Medal with five oak leaf clusters,
Air Assault and Combat Action Badge.

“My service to the Army began in this very unit 26 years ago when I enlisted
as a young tank crewman in what was then the 1-156th Armor Battalion,” said
Luebbert. “Over the years that battalion and later this squadron played a
remarkable role in my life. It taught me how to follow, encouraged me to
lead, helped me through school, cared for my family and ensured someone was
always looking out for me.”

“Thank you Brig. Gen. Waddell and Col. Desormeaux for this opportunity to
serve Louisiana as the commander of this squadron. Commanding this squadron
was an incredible gift,” Luebbert continued. “Mike, congratulations. It’s
not often in this business that we are fortunate enough to turn over command
to a great friend, a Geronimo alum and an exceptional leader. After four
deployments and two decades of service and sacrifice you most certainly
earned this opportunity.”

Col. Scott Desormeaux, the brigade commander of the 256th IBCT, stood before
the Troopers and gave praise to both Poche and Luebbert for being great
examples of what it means to be a leader and wished them well on their new
endeavors.

“I’ll be honest I didn’t really know Stephen before I came into command, but
one of the best recommendations Maj. Gen. Curtis ever made was when he said
‘that guy needs to be the commander of your cavalry squadron’,” said
Desormeaux. “I hope that you walk away knowing that your time here had an
impact. I can’t thank you and your family enough. The war college fellowship
is a great opportunity and experience to go and broaden your skills so that
when you come back you’re even more valuable to the great organization that
is the Louisiana National Guard.”

“Mike, you’ve definitely held every position you need to be successful. I’ve
had the opportunity to work closely with you over the past year and half as
the brigade operations officer, and when we would talk about how we needed
things to unfold it was always Soldier centric,” continued Desormeaux. “If
you take that same attitude into command, which I know you will then those
great things that have been accomplished here by the 2-108th will just
continue. I look forward to where this squadron’s going to be at over the
next year or two.”

Poche received his commission through the University of Louisiana at Monroe
ROTC program in 2004. He holds a Master’s of Science in Legislative Affairs
from George Washington University and works for the LANG full time.

Before assuming command of 2-108th, he was the Operations Officer for the
256 IBCT. Poche has three previous combat deployments and has supported
multiple natural disasters to include COVID-19 and Hurricanes Laura and
Delta 2020 before deploying in support of Operation Inherent Resolve.

“The Troopers of the 2-108th Cavalry Squadron continue to serve admirably
and uphold the finest traditions of the Cavalry and the Louisiana National
Guard,” said Poche. “Whether conducting operations in Syria and Iraq,
supporting law enforcement on the Southwest Border, or responding to
All-Hazards events back home, the Troopers of the Squadron continue to
impress, and I consider it the highest honor to be a part of that history.”

Some of Poche’s awards and decorations include the Bronze Star with two oak
leaf clusters, Meritorious Service Medal with one oak leaf cluster, and
Combat Action Badge.

“We are more than just a National Guard organization. We are a family that
knows each other outside of the uniform. We have shared experiences that go
beyond an assignment,” said Desormeaux.

Headquartered in Shreveport, Louisiana, the 2-108th consists of Headquarters
and Headquarters Troop in Shreveport, A Troop in Natchitoches, B Troop in
Shreveport, C Troop in Coushatta, and D Company of the 199th Brigade Support
Battalion in Shreveport.

In 2004, A Troop, 2-108th was activated for Operation Iraqi Freedom. In
2008, the Squadron was activated in response to Hurricanes Gustav and Ike,
and trained with the Japanese Ground Self Defense Force on Kyushu. In 2010,
the Squadron mobilized in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation
New Dawn. In 2016, the Squadron was activated in response to the major
floods throughout the state of Louisiana. In 2020, the Squadron was
activated in response to COVID-19 and Hurricanes Laura and Delta.

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