Brig. Gen. John W. Lathrop will assume command of the California National Guard’s Joint Forces Training Base (JFTB) Los Alamitos on Saturday, Oct. 1, succeeding Brig. Gen. Nathaniel S. Reddicks.
Lathrop, who also serves as Assistant Commander of the Cal Guard’s 40th Infantry Division, will oversee all activities and facilities at the 1,319-acre base, which supports 850 full-time employees and more than 6,000 National Guard and Reserve troops.
“Brigadier General Lathrop brings a wealth of experience and energy to this assignment and will be a strong advocate for the California Military Department in Southern California,” said Maj. Gen. David S. Baldwin, California’s Adjutant General. “I would like to extend my sincere thanks to Brigadier General Nathaniel S. Reddicks for his impressive and dedicated service as Installation Commander.”
Lathrop earned his Army commission in December 1986 through the Claremont Colleges ROTC program in Southern California. As a member of the active component Army, he served on the Demilitarized Zone in South Korea and in Southwest Asia during operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm before joining the California National Guard.
Lathrop’s Cal Guard service includes a deployment to Iraq in 2005 and 2006 as Deputy Commander of the 40th Corps Support Group. He also commanded a battery that was called to duty during the 1992 Los Angeles riots and in response to the Northridge Earthquake of 1994. Additional roles filled by Lathrop include Commander of the California Army National Guard Recruiting and Retention Battalion; Commander of the 115th Regional Support Group; Deputy Chief of Staff, Operations, for the California Army Guard; and Chief of Staff for the California Army Guard.
“I look forward to continuing JFTB’s tradition of great service to the state and nation, as well as to the communities surrounding our base in Orange County,” Lathrop said. “My roots in Southern California and years of service at JFTB with the 40th ID make this an easy transition and an exciting opportunity to build on our recent accomplishments.”
Reddicks will retire from federal service and enter the California State Military Reserve, making him the first federally recognized general officer to join the CSMR since the Korean War. He also was the first Air Force officer to command JFTB. During less than two years as commander, Reddicks implemented programs that resulted in major improvements to JFTB infrastructure, aesthetic quality and pride of ownership, Baldwin said, noting that Reddicks also fostered strong regional partnerships and enhanced community relations.
JFTB is home to the only military airfield in the greater Los Angeles area, and it serves as a training hub for every Armed Forces branch. The base houses more than 40 military and civilian organizations, including the Cal Guard’s STARBASE science and math program for 5th graders and its Sunburst Youth ChalleNGe Academy for at-risk teens. JFTB is also a community resource, and its athletic facilities serve as home to the back-to-back Olympic gold medal-winning U.S. Women’s Water Polo Team.
This article was released by the California National Guard.