Regional Training Institute (RTI) conducted a
change-of-command ceremony May 15. Col. Edward Willis,
formerly the 115th Engineer Group commander,
replaced Col. Linda Higgins, who is moving on to command
97th Troop Command.
Higgins served in many roles while at the
RTI. She served as the commander of the following
units: Officer Candidate School Company; 2nd
Battalion, 640th Regiment and most recently
as 640th regimental commander.
Higgins became well respected throughout
TASS (The Army School System), especially in the Western
United States. She represented all schools in the West
as the Region G Advisor to the Plans, Operations,
Readiness, and Training Advisory Council.
Command Sgt. Maj. Joseph Spencer worked
side by side with Higgins as the regimental command
"Her leadership has led us to our current
growth and the soaring status of the 640th
Regiment nationwide,” said Spencer.
Command Sgt. Maj. Karl Shuler,
commandant of 1st. Battalion, considers
Higgins one of the best commanders he has ever worked
“She had a very dynamic impact on the
regiment’s mission. She had a lot of foresight and
knowledge about the academy and where it could go,” he
The 640th is expanding the
number and types of courses it offers. The RTI is
currently standing up a Military Intelligence (MI)
battalion, which will teach its first courses later this
Besides starting the MI battalion and
classes, the RTI is also expanding its role in teaching
artillery courses and NCOES (Noncommissioned Officer
Education Courses). Willis is going to have a lot to
oversee in the coming months.
“Col. Willis’ guidance will play a huge
part in where the regiment goes in the future,” said
Soldiers and staff of the RTI are
anticipating a smooth transition as Willis takes the
helm. "I look forward to working with Col. Willis; he
is an analytical and deliberate type of leader," said