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Sandpoint Guardsman gets general's stars

June 4, 2022

Son Ben and wife Cassie pin silver general officer stars
to the shoulders of  Ryan Robinson in Boise.
More than 26 years after commissioning into the Idaho Army National Guard at the Idaho State Capitol, Idaho National Guard Colonel Ryan Robinson, Sandpoint, returned to Boise Thursday, where Governor Brad Little promoted him to brigadier general.

“I am truly honored and humbled to be selected for this position,” Robinson said. “I love being a citizen-soldier and proudly serving my state and country in times of need. I look forward to serving at this level of responsibility, leading the organization and making strategic decisions, while taking care of soldiers and airmen.”

Robinson will serve as the director of the joint staff for the Idaho Military Division. He has spent most of his career in the National Guard working in North Idaho as a part-time citizen-soldier while balancing his career in corporate finance. He has deployed to Iraq twice and in 2011 earned the bronze star for meritorious service in a combat zone.

“This is a great day, not only for Brigadier General Robinson and his family, but also for the Idaho National Guard and the state of Idaho,” said. Major General Michael Garshak, adjutant general of Idaho. “Robinson is clearly the best qualified officer to lead our joint staff, whose mission is to prepare for and respond to domestic operations in support of civil authorities. His career as a traditional Guardsman makes him uniquely qualified for this mission.”

Robinson earned his commission in May of 1996 through Boise State University after graduating high school at Lake Stevens High School in Lake Stevens, Washington, where his parents still live. He became a quartermaster officer and was assigned as a platoon leader with A Company, 145th Brigade Support Battalion in Caldwell, Idaho. From 1997 to 2001 he served in the Washington Army National Guard.

He transferred back to the Idaho Army National Guard in 2001 and spent the next 15 years of his career in various positions in North Idaho. He was the 116th Engineer Battalion’s logistics officer in Lewiston from 2001 to 2003.

He was then appointed company commander of C Company, 116th Brigade Engineer Battalion in Post Falls, which required him to become qualified as an engineer officer. As commander, he prepared his company for the 116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team’s 2004 deployment to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom III and was promoted to captain. An injury sustained while training prevented him from deploying with the company. He later joined up with the brigade in Iraq as the battalion’s communications officer and was assigned as the economic development officer for Northern Iraq.

While deployed, Robinson used his civilian skills and expertise in finance and economic development to advise Iraqis on how to build and run a business center and a separate micro-finance center. He later returned to Iraq in 2006 to work with the Department of State and to help build six additional business centers.

He deployed to Iraq again in 2010 in support of Operation New Dawn after the 116th Engineer Battalion transitioned to the 145th Brigade Support Battalion. As a major, he was assigned as the battalion’s executive officer and served as the garrison command’s resource manager in Baghdad while deployed. While there, he oversaw the execution of more than $200 million in government contracts for base life support and other activities of three large forward operating bases. He also assisted with closing several bases and the redeployment of equipment as the U.S. began withdrawing from Iraq.

He was appointed the 145th Brigade Support Battalion’s commander in 2011 and promoted to lieutenant colonel in 2012. As a battalion commander, he oversaw more than 600 soldiers in multiple companies located throughout North Idaho and participated in training exercises in Canada and Cambodia.

After battalion command, he attended the United States Army War College and held various positions within Joint Force Headquarters Idaho in Boise. He was appointed commander of the Installation Support Unit in 2017 and promoted to colonel in 2018.

After his command tour ended, he became the chief of the joint staff, Idaho National Guard. He also served as the director of domestic operations and has completed the Defense Support to Civil Authority Course, the Joint Task Force Commanders Course and the Dual Status Commanders Course and graduated from the National Defense University.

The joint staff proactively coordinates, plans and exercises for notice and no-notice events that would adversely affect the population and facilities in the state of Idaho. The director of the joint staff provides timely and appropriate Idaho National Guard capabilities to respond to incidents and mitigate suffering and loss, deliberately and safely mobilize, deploy, redeploy and demobilize joint task forces. The director of joint staff also supervises and directs the state partnership program, counterdrug and the 101st Civil Support Team.

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Mike Weland, Publisher

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P.O. Box 1625
Bonners Ferry, ID 83805
(208) 295-1016

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