Another isle
commander pulled

The Army will say only that
the 2nd Battalion leader in
Afghanistan violated regulations


Tuesday, March 29, 2005

» Brig. Gen. Joe Chaves relieved Lt. Col. Alan Ostermiller of duty as commander of the Hawaii National Guard's 100th Battalion after he investigated an incident in which Ostermiller got into a fight with his operations officer and threw a chair at him. A story on Page A3 Friday incorrectly stated that Chaves got into a fight and threw a chair.

The Honolulu Star-Bulletin strives to make its news report fair and accurate. If you have a question or comment about news coverage, call Editor Frank Bridgewater at 529-4791 or email him at corrections@starbulletin.com.

The Army has relieved another battalion commander who used to command soldiers from Hawaii.

This time, the infraction was in Afghanistan and involved a 25th Infantry Division aviator in command for nearly two years.

Lt. Col. Steve Brown was relieved March 14 as commander of the 25th Infantry Division's 2nd Battalion, 25th Aviation Regiment, by Maj. Gen. Eric Olson before he stepped down as the leader of Combined Joint Task Force 76 in Afghanistan and returned to Schofield Barracks.

Olson's actions occurred a day before Brig. Gen. Joe Chaves, commander of the 29th Brigade Combat Team, relieved Lt. Col. Alan Ostermiller as head of the 100th Battalion, which has been in Iraq since Feb. 19.

Ostermiller, who had commanded one of the three infantry battalions assigned to Hawaii's 29th Brigade Combat Team since Aug. 2, was suspended by Chaves on Feb. 24 while he investigated an incident where Chaves got into a fight with his operations officer and threw a chair at him.

In Brown's case the Army would say only that Brown was relieved because he "violated military regulation."

Capt. Kathy Turner, 25th Division spokeswoman, said, "No additional details regarding the relief will be provided."

She did say Olson's action was based on something Brown did personally, and not related to the operations of the 2nd Battalion.

Brown, who assumed command of the 2nd Battalion in 2003 before it left for Afghanistan last April, will be allowed to retire from the Army next month, and no further action is anticipated, Turner added.

He was replaced by Lt. Col. Frank Tate as head of the 2nd Battalion, which will remain in Afghanistan through mid-April. The 2nd Battalion, which flies UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters, is part of Task Force Wings, commanded by Col. Shannon Davis, 25th Aviation Brigade commander. Included in the task force are aviation units from the Alabama, Georgia, Utah, Florida, Alaska and Hawaii Army National Guard.

Ostermiller, 41, was replaced by Lt. Col. Colbert Low, who has served as the battalion's executive officer.

A 29th Brigade spokesman in Iraq said that Ostermiller, who faced no further disciplinary action, has been assigned to the Multinational Headquarters (MNC-1) headed by the 18th Airborne Corps in Iraq.

25th Infantry Division

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