Oklahoma's 45th Infantry Brigade welcomes new commander

Col. Van Kinchen, who has spent 29 years in the National Guard, is succeeding Col. Joel Ward, who recently returned to Oklahoma with the unit from Afghanistan.
BY CARMEN FORMAN cforman@opubco.com Published: June 3, 2012
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Ward is a Tulsa police officer who plans to continue this job after his military retirement.

“I'm going back to my normal job and to being a normal citizen,” Ward said.

Though there are no plans for deployment yet, new commander Kinchen has plans “to get this organization reset and prepared for whatever the future may hold.”

He plans to reorganize the soldiers into administrative and medical positions, make a push for the soldiers to get back on track with their education and inspect and prepare their equipment for future deployments.

“I know where your heart lies, and it is with this organization and its soldiers,” Maj. Gen. Myles Deering, Oklahoma's adjutant general, said to the new commander.