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173RD Airborne Brigade Commander

Col. Joshua M. Gaspard

COL Joshua M. Gaspard is originally from Texas. He commissioned as an infantry officer from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 2002. 

Over the course of his career, Josh has held leadership and staff positions in the 173rd Airborne Brigade, 3rd Brigade Combat Team / 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), 1st Brigade Combat Team / 82nd Airborne Division, Alaskan Command (US Northern Command), 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne) / 25th Infantry Division, and the 25th Infantry Division.

In addition, Josh is a graduate of Columbia University’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and was an academic instructor at the United States Military Academy in the Department of Systems Engineering. 

Most recently, Josh graduated from the US Army War College as a Hoover Institution National Security Affairs Fellow at Stanford University.

Josh is married to Andrea Gaspard (West Point 2003 graduate and former Sky Soldier) and they have four children: Penelope (16), Joshua (16), GiGi (14), and Hudson (9). 


Col. Joshua M. Gespard
     173RD Airborne Brigade, Brigade Commander

173RD Airborne Brigade Sergeant Major

CSM Matthew Dale Carlson

Command Sergeant Major Matthew Dale Carlson was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, on March 22, 1978. He entered the United States Army in March 1999 and attended One Station Unit Training at Fort Benning, Georgia.

CSM Carlson has served in various assignments throughout the United States and overseas, to include Alpha Company 3rd Ranger Battalion 75th Ranger Regiment, Fort Benning, Georgia; HHC 5th Ranger Training Battalion, Dahlonega, Georgia; 74th Infantry Detachment (Long Range Surveillance), 173RD  Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), Charlie Company 1-503RD  and HHC 1-503RD , 173RD  Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), Vicenza, Italy, Delta Company 4th Ranger Training Battalion (Reconnaissance Surveillance Leaders Course), Fort Benning, Georgia, Able Company and HHC 2-503RD, 173RD Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), Vicenza, Italy, the United States Army Military Academy West Point, New York, United States Army Sergeants Major Academy Class 67, Fort Bliss Texas, HHC 1-509TH (Airborne), Fort Polk, Louisiana and 2nd Battalion 4th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade 10th Mountain Division (Light) Fort Polk, Louisiana, 3rd Squadron 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade, Fort Benning, Georgia. He has held leadership positions as a Rifle Team Leader, Long Range Surveillance Assistant Team Leader, Long Range Surveillance Team Leader, Rifle Squad Leader, Rifle Platoon Sergeant, Scout Platoon Sergeant, Ranger Instructor, Rifle Company and HHC First Sergeant, Military Science Instructor, USASMA Student, Operations Sergeant Major, Battalion and Squadron Command Sergeant Major. 

His military and civilian education includes Basic Airborne Course, Ranger Course, Reconnaissance and Surveillance Leaders Course, Jumpmaster Course, Military Free Fall Parachutist Course, Pathfinder Course, Air Assault Course, Army Basic Instructor Course, Combat Advisor Training Course, Basic Leader Course, Advanced Leader Course, Senior Leader Course (Honor Graduate), Sergeants Major Course and numerous other local courses. CSM Carlson has earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Military Leadership from Excelsior College and is continuing his educational goals towards a Master’s Degree.

During CSM Carlson’s career he has participated in Operation Iraqi Freedom I, Kirkuk, Iraq; Operation Enduring Freedom VI, Helmand Province, Afghanistan; Operation Enduring Freedom VIII, Bermel, Afghanistan; Operation Enduring Freedom XIII, Wardak, Afghanistan; Operation Atlantic Resolve (Latvia and Lithuania), Customs and Border Protection (Texas and Arizona), Operation Alamo Shield (Colombia). His military awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal (3rd Award), the Meritorious Service Medal (6th Award), the Joint Service Commendation Medal, the Army Commendation Medal with Valor device (4th award) the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal (5th Award), Good Conduct Medal (7th Award), National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with 3 bronze stars, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Armed Forces Service Medal, the Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon with numeral five, the Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Ribbon with numeral six, the NATO Medal with bronze star (Operation Enduring Freedom), the Valorous Unit Award, and the Meritorious Unit Citation with one oak leaf cluster. He has earned the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Expert Infantryman Badge, Master Parachutist Badge, Military Free Fall Parachutist Badge, Pathfinder Badge, Air Assault Badge, Ranger Tab and the British, Hungarian, and Canadian Parachutist Badges.

CSM Carlson is the recipient of the highest award given to foreign military members the “Faith of the Cause Medal” presented by the Sergeant Major of the Colombian Army for his contributions to the National Army of Colombia. CSM Carlson is also a member of the Order of Saint Maurice (Centurion), the Order of Saint George (Bronze), the prestigious Sergeant Audie Murphy Club, and the 173RD Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne) Sigholtz Awardee for 2006. He is married to Martina Piazzon from Padova, Italy. 

 CSM Matthew Dale Carlson
     173RD Airborne Brigade, Brigade Command Sergeant Major

Home : About Us : Leadership


LTC Neil B. Stark

LTC Stark currently serves as the Commander of 4th Battalion, 319th Airborne Field Artillery Regiment stationed in Grafenwoehr, Germany, and in direct support of the 173rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne).

LTC Stark was born in Nurnberg, Germany to dual-military parents and he grew up at a number of US Army installations in the United States and Europe. In 2001 he graduated from Brookfield R-III High School in Brookfield, Missouri and enrolled in the US Army Reserve Officer Training Corps at the University of Missouri at Columbia, Missouri. He was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Field Artillery in May 2005 and attended the Field Artillery Officer Basic Course at Fort Sill, Oklahoma.

His first duty assignment was with 1st Battalion, 321st Field Artillery Regiment (Airborne) at Fort Bragg, North Carolina and he deployed to Mosul, Iraq in 2006. He commanded A Battery, 3rd Battalion, 321st Field Artillery Regiment and deployed to Khost, Afghanistan in 2011, and then commanded Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 18th Fires Brigade (Airborne). LTC Stark then served as a Plans Officer in G3 Operations Division, Human Resources Command at Fort Knox, Kentucky. As a field grade officer he served as the Division Fires Planner in the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, and deployed to Bagram, Afghanistan in 2018. He then served as a Brigade Fire Support Officer in 2nd Brigade (“Strike”), 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) and a Battalion Operations Officer 1st Battalion, 320th Field Artillery Regiment and deployed to Yavoriv, Ukraine in 2019 in support of the Joint Multinational Training Group – Ukraine. In his most recent assignment, he served as a Joint Operations Planner in the J35 Future Operations & Plans Division at Headquarters, United States European Command.

LTC Stark’s military education includes the Field Artillery Officer Basic Course, the Maneuver Captain Career Course, Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape High Risk (Level C) Course, the Command and General Staff Officer Course, and the School of Advanced Military Studies. He holds a Master’s of Military Art and Science in Operational Art and Science from the United States Army Command and General Staff College and a Bachelor’s of Arts in Political Science from the University of Missouri at Columbia.

His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal (2nd award), the Meritorious Service Medal (3rd award), the Joint Service Commendation Medal, the Army Commendation Medal (5th award), the Afghanistan Campaign Medal (3rd award), and the Iraq Campaign Medal. He has earned the Ranger tab, Senior Parachutist badge, and the Air Assault badge.

Stark is married to the former Kelly Trosen of Kirksville, Missouri. Together they have two daughters, Reagan (11) and Whitney (6).