ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Lt. Col. Nathaniel Carper will relinquish command of the New Mexico Army National Guard's Recruiting and Retention Battalion to Lt. Col. Brian White at 8 a.m. on Friday, June 8, 2018.
The change of command ceremony was held during the New Mexico Broadcaster's Association annual meeting. More than 200 members and affiliates of the association, along with National Guard leaders and recruiters, witnessed the change of command.
Carper has commanded the battalion for the last 18 months. He's leaving to attend the U.S. Army War College at Carlisle Barracks, Penn.
Nathaniel is the youngest son of Tommy and Susan Carper of Big Bend, WV and the grandson of the late Hoy and Mattie (Starcher Carper) Vineyard at the mouth of Crummis Creek, his maternal grandparents were the late Blackie and Millie Edens of Elkview.
Nathaniel parent's said he was a strong-willed, fiercely determined, yet very loving WV child, growing up on the family farm.
"He was best known for protesting his daily chores, to the point of spending more time trying to get out of his chores, rather than "just do them," said his parents.
"But, when he accomplished his tasks, he always "took it to the next level," exceeding expectations."
"Nathan is truly a self-made man! Always striving for perfection and the "rugged individualism" WV men are made of.
He completed elementary school at the former Brooksville Elementary in Big Bend and graduated from Calhoun County High School in Grantsville in 1995.
He decided to attend WVU in the fall of 1995, where he felt like "a goldfish in an ocean" at WVU after growing up in a small town.
After his first year there, he was invited to attend US Army Challenge Camp at Fort Knox, Ky. From there, he was offered a scholarship to New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell, NM.
He accepted and began a "journey of success and progression." He graduated from NMMI and continued his education in Political Science and Criminal Justice, graduating from New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, NM.
He joined the NM National Guard while attending New Mexico Military Institute. He continued his service with them, serving three tours of duty including Washington, DC (after 9/11) in an Air Defense Unit, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and Kosovo. He worked as a Chief Security Officer in Las Cruces as well.
Nathan was employed by the NM National Guard in Las Cruces, Rio Rancho, and Santa Fe, NM.
Nathan married Colleen Casey from Las Cruces and they currently reside in Corrales, NM with their two sons.
He has achieved the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and recently selected to attend our nation's War College in Carlisle Barracks, PA beginning in August.
His parents said, "We look forward to visiting with Nathan and his wife, Colleen and their two sons, Thomas Jonathan (6) and Maxwell Hoy (4) much more frequently since they will be much closer to us."