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It’s homecoming for YTC leader

Northwest Guardian

Published: 06:02PM July 17th, 2014

For Lt. Col. Jason Evers, coming to take command of Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s Yakima Training Center felt like a homecoming.

“This is like a parade for me right now,” Evers said during the July 10 change of command ceremony. “This couldn’t be a better location for us to come to — to work with the JBLM team and have a great time.”

Previously assigned as the deputy commander for the Kansas City District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Evers is taking over for the outgoing Lt. Col. R. Darrell O’Steen, who will become the deputy brigade commander for the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division in Korea.

Evers said he is excited to come to an organization comprised of individuals who have provided training support to different parts of the local armed forces for decades.

“This is a fantastic opportunity to continue that history of excellence and continuing to provide that service to the United States Army and sister units,” Evers said.

In his vision as YTC commander, Evers said the top priority is to continue to provide the quality support and ensure rotational units are prepared for any missions they may receive either overseas or in the states.

His second goal is to maintain relationships established with O’Steen and local city officials, departments and organizations from the cities of Yakima and nearby Selah.

At the same time, Evers said he is aware that the Army is currently going through a downsizing trend.

“We’ve got some challenges to look forward to, but we look to continue to meet our mission while also meeting the Army’s objectives and reducing the costs,” Evers said.

During his remarks given during the ceremony, O’Steen took a moment to recognize the 120 civilian employees who help provide the quality support that assisted him in his two years commanding the training center.

O’Steen told Evers he was going to be in good hands for his two years.

“Let them guide you in running this 327,000 acres center,” O’Steen said to Evers during the ceremony.

Growing up in a military family, Evers graduated from Olympia High School in Olympia and holds a bachelor’s degree and a Master of Science in civil engineering from the University of Washington in Seattle.

Evers also graduated as a distinguished military graduate from Gonzaga University in Spokane, where his wife Salliejo is from.

With 19 years of service in the U.S. Army, Evers has been in a variety of command and staff positions in several engineer units.

Following his commissioning as a second lieutenant in the Army Corps of Engineers, he attended the Engineer Officer Basic Course in 1995.

Evers deployed to Kuwait for Operation Desert Storm in 1996 with the 8th Engineer Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division, from Fort Hood, Texas.

After working as a staff officer for the 1st Armored Division Engineer Brigade, he also completed one tour in Iraq in 2003 while commanding B Company, 16th Engineer Battalion in Giessen, Germany.

Evers was then selected to teach in the Department of Civil and Mechanical Engineering at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, following graduate school, for three years.

After attending Command and General Staff College, Evers served as an adviser during Operation Iraqi Freedom with the 1st Advise and Assist Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division at Fort Stewart, Ga.