Col. John "Mickey" Stewart will formally take the helm during a change of command ceremony Saturday afternoon at Camp Robinson.
The change of command will assign Stewart with responsibility over the 3,000-Soldier brigade, which is headquartered in Little Rock, with 46 units in 42 communities across the state.
Col. Kirk Van Pelt will relinquish command to Stewart during the ceremony after having served in command of the brigade since May 31, 2009.
Incoming Commander BIO: COLONEL JOHN M. STEWART
Col. Stewart was born in Fordyce, and graduated from Fordyce High School. Stewart joined the Arkansas National Guard in 1982 as a private in Camden's Det. 1 Company B, 3rd Battalion, 153rd Infantry Regiment (3-153) of the 39th Infantry Brigade. Stewart graduated from the Arkansas Military Academy's Officer Candidate School Class 29 in 1986 and commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant of Infantry.
In 1989, Stewart was hired into the Active Guard and Reserve (AGR) workforce as the training officer for the 3-153. While on staff, he held numerous staff duties including personnel officer (S1), assistant operations officer (Asst. S3), logistics officer (S4) and battalion administrative officer (AO).
In 1994, he was assigned as the commander of the 3-153's Company A, to begin an intensive train up for a Joint Readiness Training Center rotation. Upon completing Infantry Officer's Advanced Course and the Combined Arms and Services Staff School, he was assigned to the 233rd Regional Training Institute as the RTI training officer and Officer Candidate School instructor.
In 2001, Stewart was assigned to the 39th Infantry Brigade as the brigade training Officer and as the brigade plans officer. Colonel Stewart was later assigned as the brigade S3-air for the Operation Iraqi Freedom II Mobilization train up and later was made the brigade operations officer. He served as the brigade operations officer for 11 months in Iraq while the brigade was attached to the 1st Cavalry Division. During this time he was responsible for full spectrum combat operations with 775 square kilometers of battle space in Baghdad.
Stewart took command of brigade's 2nd Battalion, 153rd Infantry Regiment May 1, 2007 and led his battalion to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom 2008-09. During this time he was responsible for command and control of five convoy security companies in Western Iraq.
On June 1, 2009, Colonel Stewart was assigned as the 39th Brigade executive officer and full-time administrative officer tasked with the brigade's RESET operations. On August 1, 2010, he assumed his current duty positions as both the deputy chief of staff, operations and the plans, operations and training officer for Arkansas.
Colonel Stewart is a graduate of Command and General Staff College and has many awards including Bronze Star 2ND Award, Meritorious Service Medal and the Combat Infantry Badge. He also holds a Bachelors of Science Degree in Liberal Arts.