Maj. Gen. Lee Tafanelli
TOPEKA -- Maj. Gen. Lee Tafanelli, Kansas adjutant general, has announced Brig. Gen. Michael D. Navrkal to succeed Maj. Gen. John E. Davoren as the commander of the 35th Infantry Division. Davoren is retiring with 37 years of military service.
The change of command is scheduled to happen October 5th at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.
Navrkal’s selection was a joint decision of the 35th Division Council made up of the adjutants general of Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri and Illinois. Tafanelli chairs the council.
Navrkal currently serves as the assistant adjutant general for the Nebraska Army National Guard. He is also the deputy commanding general for operations, First United States Army Division West and is responsible for conducting training readiness oversight and mobilization of designated Active, National Guard and Reserve component forces.
“It will take a leader of considerable experience and knowledge to replace Major General Davoren,” said Tafanelli. “I am confident that Brigadier General Navrkal possesses those qualifications and I am certain the division will continue to excel in its missions under his leadership.”
“Brigadier General Navrkal brings a wealth of command and leadership experience to this position,” said Maj. Gen. Judd H. Lyons, Nebraska adjutant general. “He is an excellent choice for the 35th ID commander.”
“I am honored to be selected as the next commander of this outstanding unit,” said Navrkal. “The 35th Infantry Division has such a great tradition of service to this nation and I look forward to serving with the outstanding Soldiers who make up the division.”
Navrkal received his commission from the Officer Candidate Course at Fort Benning, Ga., on June 5, 1981. He has commanded at the company, battalion and brigade levels. Navrkal commanded Company A, 2nd Battalion, 134th Infantry Regiment, 67th Infantry Brigade and the 168th Quartermaster Petroleum Supply Battalion. Navrkal deployed to Iraq as commander of the 867th Corps Support Battalion from 2006-2007, leading an organization of 1,700 Soldiers providing logistical support. Most recently, he served as commander of 92nd Troop Command.
Davoren assumed duties as the division commander in August 2010. He was commissioned in 1976 from the Reserve Officer Training Corps program at the University of Kansas. After completing the Infantry Officer Basic Course and Ranger training he served as a Rifle Platoon Leader, A Company, 503rd Infantry at Fort Campbell, Ky. In July 1979 he was assigned to Troop B, 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry, 25th Infantry Division at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii; and in 1982 became the executive officer for the 1st Aviation Battalion at Fort Riley, Kansas.
Since joining the Kansas Army National Guard his assignments have included Commander, Company A, 2/137th Infantry Battalion; Intelligence Officer, 69th Brigade; Operations Officer, 2/137th Infantry; Commander, 2/137th Infantry Battalion; Commander, 69th Troop Command; Assistant Division Commander, 35th Infantry Division; Commander, Multinational Task Force – East (KFOR 9); and Assistant Adjutant General, Kansas Army National Guard.
The 35th Infantry Division, headquartered at Fort Leavenworth, is comprised of soldiers from Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and Illinois.