JEFFERSON BARRACKS, Mo. – Soldiers of the Missouri National Guard’s 1035th Maintenance Support Company welcomed a new commanding officer during ceremonies March 7 at Jefferson Barracks.

The first order of business for incoming commander 1st Lt. Jason R. Gipson was to provide his cell phone number to every member of the unit.

“I want each of you to be able to contact me at any time,” Gipson said. “I will always be there for you.”

Gipson takes the helm of the 1035th from Capt. Jamie Melchert, a Wisconsin native who had served as unit commander since Dec. 2007.

“I have big shoes to fill in Capt. Melchert,” Gipson said with a smile. “My predecessor has set the bar at a high altitude for me.”

Born in Sedalia, Gipson was raised in Fredericktown and is a 1988 graduate of Fredericktown High School. He joined the Army at the age of 18 and served on active duty with the 82nd Airborne Division. A 1992 graduate of the University of Missouri-St. Louis, Gipson holds a bachelor’s degree in criminology and criminal justice.

Prior to being named commander of the 1035th, Gipson served as executive officer with the 1175th Military Police Company based in St. Clair. A veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Gipson has earned the Bronze Star, the Expert Infantryman Badge, the Combat Action Badge, and the Army Commendation Medal, among other honors.

“I’m actually dual seated,” said Gipson. “I sit as commander of the 1035th and serve as the 835th Sustainment Support Battalion S-1 officer, so I’ve already had a lot of interaction with the (1035th).”

Gipson spoke of his goals as the new company commander.

“I definitely want to maintain the strength of the unit and build upon it,” he said. “Mission accomplishment is my number 1 priority followed closely by mission safety. I also want to have fun. Nobody would be in this unit or in the National Guard if it wasn’t a fun job.”

Gipson, his wife Tina and their son, Christian, currently reside in Bonne Terre.

Melchert, who will now serve as plans officer for the 311th Brigade Support Battalion based in Lexington, said he looks forward to a new challenge. 

“I’ve enjoyed my time with the 1035th but it’s a large unit and it’s difficult to get to know every Soldier,” Melchert said. “That said, getting to know these Soldiers has been a real pleasure so I’ll miss that. My new assignment will be a challenge in that I’ll be putting plans together and then seeing someone else execute them, so that will be really different for me.”

For more information about the Missouri National Guard, please call 1-800-GoGuard or visit www.moguard.com.

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