CHEYENNE – The new leader of the Wyoming National Guard took over the reins of the state’s armed forces Thursday.
Maj. Gen. Gregory Porter was sworn in as the next adjutant general of the Guard and promoted to the rank of major general at the ceremony in Cheyenne.
Porter replaces Maj. Gen. Luke Reiner, who retired from the Wyoming National Guard and will take over leadership at the Wyoming Department of Transportation.
Porter has lived in Wyoming since he was 9 and joined the armed forces in 1985 through the University of Wyoming’s Cowboy Battalion Army Reserve Officers Training Corps. He most recently served as the director of the joint staff at the Joint Force Headquarters in Cheyenne before his promotion.
During the change of command ceremony Thursday, Porter thanked the servicemen and servicewomen with whom he’s served, and who helped mentor and shape him throughout his career.
“If I’m any success as a leader and a human being, it is due to all the time and efforts they have invested in me,” Porter said during the ceremony.
“I am forever grateful to know you, serve with you and call all of you friend(s).”
During his remarks, Gov. Mark Gordon praised Porter for his willingness to serve. Gordon said Porter’s qualifications made him stand out in the remarkable pool of applicants who threw their hat in the ring to succeed Reiner as adjutant general.
“There were a number of dignified and very properly trained and talented individuals who were stepping forward to assume his position. And you were by far the (best) of that group. And that says a lot because that was an amazing group,” Gordon said.
For his part, Porter said he was both excited and terrified when Gordon tapped him for this new position.
“Because it’s not really a fear for myself, it’s a fear that I will let you down. So I’m sorry to say, friends, your work is not done. I need your counsel, your wisdom, your advice,” Porter said.
“Our organization must continue to move forward and change and adapt. It’s a dangerous and complex world out there with many threats.”
Porter praised the members of the Guard, and said he would be dedicated to serving them as their new leader whether they faced deployment overseas or saving lives during a natural disaster.
The assembled government and military leaders from Wyoming and neighboring states took time to recognize Reiner’s lengthy service as he transitions into civilian life. Reiner served the last eight years of his 36-year military career as adjutant general under former Gov. Matt Mead.
“It has been my privilege to serve this state and this nation for the last 36 years of my life,” Reiner said. “What I will miss most about the chapter of my life is the people I’ve served with and grown to love, grown to cherish, grown to respect. I will miss the shared values, the shared character, the shared sense of purpose, the shared commitment to sacrifice and the shared love of country.”
In recognition of his service, Reiner received the Distinguished Service Medal from Gen. Joseph Lengyel, chief of the National Guard Bureau.
Gordon praised Reiner for his service to the Wyoming National Guard and thanked him for his willingness to continue his service to Wyoming as the next director of WYDOT. He highlighted Reiner’s role in increased readiness of the state’s military, his support in the Legislature of the proposed Veterans Skilled Nursing Facility planned for Buffalo, and his role in the Wyoming Cowboy Challenge Academy, which helps train troubled teens.