IN THE MILITARY
CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARBULLETIN.COM
Brig. Gen. Alexander I. Kozlov spoke Jan. 21 during the 9th Regional Readiness Command's Change of Command Ceremony at Fort Shafter Flats. Kozlov takes over as commander from Brig. Gen. John Y.H. Ma, who held the post since December 2002. CLICK FOR LARGE
Change in command
Its leader inherits a more active Army Reserve unit
ARMY RESERVE Brig. Gen. Alexander I. Kozlov is taking charge of a 3,500-citizen soldier force that will see major changes in the coming years.
Kozlov inherits the 9th Regional Readiness Command, which last year led the Army Reserve in recruiting and retention. "Historically the 9th RRC has been very, very good, which is a credit to (Brig.) Gen. John Ma and his staff," said Kozlov, 51. "There are lots of really loyal people here. We've exceeded all our expectations."
BRIG. GEN. ALEXANDER I. KOZLOV
Job: 9th Regional Readiness Command commanding general
Force: 3,500 soldiers
Units: 24 in three countries, including Japan and South Korea.
Headquarters: Fort Shafter Flats
Civilian occupation: Mechanical engineer
Education: California Polytechnic State University
The Pacific Army Reserve led the 18 Army Reserve commands in the best retention and re-enlistment programs. It even exceeded the active Army in bringing in the most soldiers from Individual Ready Reserve.
As the Army looks for soldiers to fight various conflicts, Kozlov said his headquarters team, which has never deployed, could be pressed into battle.
Currently Kozlov's command, whose headquarters is at Fort Shafter Flats, is made up of 24 units in three countries spanning seven time zones across the Pacific in Alaska, Hawaii, Japan, South Korea, American Samoa, Guam and Saipan. The only infantry unit in the Army Reserve -- the 100th Battalion/442nd Infantry -- belongs to Kozlov and is assigned to the Hawaii Army National Guard's 29th Brigade Combat Team. It deployed to Iraq two years ago.
He said the 24 units in his command over the next two or three years will become "a little bit leaner and little bit more meaner and much more deployable."
"They are becoming much more agile and much more relevant in terms of what the Army thinks it needs today."
The general said that if his units are ready to deploy, it will ease the time they spend overseas.
Under a new Pentagon policy recently announced, Army Reserve and National Guard units will be placed on active duty for no more than a year at a time, compared with the 18 months the 100th Battalion had to serve two years ago.
The trade-off is that a unit may be deployed sooner, Kozlov said.
COURTESY OF U.S. ARMY RESERVE
Army Reserve Brig. Gen. Alexander I. Kozlov takes charge of the 3,500-member 9th Regional Readiness Command. CLICK FOR LARGE
Living in California when he was tapped to head the Pacific Army Reserve, Kozlov has moved to Kailua. He is the first one-star commander since 1976 never to have served in the unit.
For the past two years he has been vice president of MacDonald-Bedford, a construction management consulting firm in Alameda, Calif. He plans to open a Honolulu branch office working with civilian commercial contractors.
Kozlov said he decided to transplant himself to the islands because next to his family, "This job I have with the 9th RRC is incredibly important to me."
With so many of his citizen soldiers deployed to Kuwait, Iraq and Cuba, "I owe it to them to put them up as a priority, after my family," he said.
Kozlov's last assignment was commander of the U.S. Army Facility Engineer Group, 416th Engineer Command, in Darien, Ill., which provides construction management of military base camps and public works worldwide, and oversight of environmental practices and minor construction at all U.S. Army Reserve Centers.
A mechanical engineer, Kozlov earned a bachelor's degree from California Polytechnic State University, where he is working on a master's degree. He served for five years on active duty as an engineer officer and is fluent in Russian.
He has been in uniform for 20 years, five of them on active duty, and deployed as a reservist to Bosnia and Kuwait.