CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan – Soldiers of Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 294th Infantry Regiment, Guam Army National Guard, said “adios” to their commander of three years and “bien binidu” to its new leader during an Aug. 31 Change of Command.
First Lt. Shawn J. Meno officially assumed command of Bravo Company, replacing Capt. Glen Mesa as the 294th staged another leadership change in less than two weeks. This follows 1st Lt. John Salas’ new tenure as Charlie Company effective Aug. 25. Salas replaced Maj. Rickey Flores, who now serves as the 294th executive officer.
Meno, of Mangilao, Guam, is in charge of close to 70 Soldiers who are dispersed in two southern Afghanistan regions. A platoon runs guardian angel missions in Main Operating Base Lashkar Gah, southwest of Camp Leatherneck.
“I have been nothing but impressed with how Bravo has been operating,” said Meno. “It’s the Soldiers’ loyalty to not only this company and battalion, but to their island, nation and to each other. We cannot be successful unless we are persistent.”
[1st Lt. Shawn J. Meno stands before Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 294th Infantry Regiment, Guam Army National Guard, during an Aug. 31 Change of Command that officially puts him in charge at Camp Leatherneck, Helmand Province, Afghanistan. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Eddie Siguenza/Released)]
Meno previously served as Delta Company’s executive officer at Camp Stone, Herat Province. He enlisted into the Guam Guard in 2004 and deployed 2005-2006 to the Horn of Africa for Operation Enduring Freedom. He joined Guam’s Officer Candidate School and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in 2007.
Mesa served as Bravo commander for three years. He now serves as the Assistant Battalion Operations Officer. Mesa will fulfill this role at Camp Eggers, Kabul, Afghanistan.
“The biggest thing I’ll miss is troop time, being with the Joes,” Mesa said. “It’s the greatest experience watching Soldiers grow into leaders.”
Mesa thanked his immediate staff and senior leaders who helped him lead three annual trainings (two in California) and the current OEF mission during his time as commander.
“We were faced with many challenges along the way,” Mesa explained. “Without a doubt, we overcame those challenges as a team.”
Meno and Mesa are fortunate to work with one of the Guam Guard’s respected veterans, 1st Sgt. John Pangelinan. Pangelinan could have retired more than a year ago but chose to stay to help Bravo Company throughout this mission.
“I’ve seen him not only stand up for the Soldiers and noncommissioned officers, but for the officers as well,” Mesa said. “I recognized that I cannot be in command indefinitely. But as I leave behind a company with great leaders and Soldiers, I’m confident that no matter who is placed in command, the company will be fine.”
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