In a ceremony at Buckley Air Force Base on April 14, Lieutenant Colonel Brian Williams took command of the 244th Engineer Battalion from outgoing commander, Lieutenant Colonel André Schlappe.
The 244th is an Army Reserve battalion headquartered in Denver, consisting of over 850 soldiers in 10 units across Colorado, Kansas and New Mexico. During his two-year tenure as battalion commander, Lieutenant Colonel Schlappe oversaw the rebuilding of a company returning from Afghanistan, deployed companies to Romania for troop construction and military law enforcement, deployed a company to Belize for a Beyond the Horizons nation building project, deployed companies to the National Training Center and Joint Readiness Training Center for annual training, conducted a joint construction mission with Navy Seabees on the Navajo Indian Reservation in New Mexico, and led over 1,100 soldiers and 23 units at the 2018 Combat Support Training Exercise in Fort McCoy, Wis. The battalion has a distinguished lineage of decorated service in World War II, Iraq and Kuwait. Its capabilities include combat engineering, military construction, route clearance and firefighting. As a civilian, André is employed as a principal civil engineer with Martin/Martin in Lakewood. He is a 1991 graduate of Delta High School, married to the former Sandy Harmon from Mechanicsville, Va., and is the son of Russel and Ritta Schlappe of Austin.