1457th Engineer Battalion of the Utah Army
National Guard conducted a change of command May 15 at
the Camp Williams parade field.
the ceremony, Lt. Col. Jefferson S. Burton officially
relinquished command to Lt. Col. Robert T. Dunton.
Burton had commanded the 1457th since August
2002. During his tenure the battalion served for more
than a year in Iraq in 2003-04 in support of Operation
While in Iraq the 1457th conducted a variety
of missions to include building security barriers for
Iraq’s new police force, clearing and mapping a series
of interconnected tunnels and bunker complexes beneath
the Baghdad Airport and constructing a rifle range for
coalition forces’ weapons training.
Typically, the battalion worked numerous missions
concurrently, responding to each with meticulous
planning and execution. It was not long before the 1457th
was dubbed the “911 Battalion.”
First Armor Division’s Engineer Brigade Commander Col.
Don Young oversaw the 1457th Battalion’s
efforts in Iraq and had firsthand knowledge of their
accomplishments. He formally recognized the battalion’s
performance in a memorandum to Maj. Gen. Brian Tarbet,
the Utah National Guard Adjutant General.
“[The 1457th] quickly became my ‘go-to’
unit. I assigned my toughest high-visibility missions
to this battalion knowing that they would always succeed
in a timely and efficient manner,” Young wrote.
Photo by Spc. Kelly K. Collett
Col. Robert T. Dunton assumed command of the 1457th
Engineer Battalion May 15, 2005.
Burton’s wife Charn, when asked about her husband’s
service as the 1457th commander said, “I’m
incredibly proud! I’m glad that he could take part in
preserving freedom and serving our country,” she said.
said of his troops, “The
Soldiers of the 1457th did a remarkable job
in Iraq, just like thousands of other units fighting in
the war on terror.” He added, “Our service was not
particularly unique, but it was honest and dedicated.
Our reputation with those that know us is a positive
one. We gave our best to every mission.”
will continue his service to the Utah National Guard by
attending the Army War College in Carlisle, Pa., and
will return to Utah next year.
Dunton assumes command of more than 500 Soldiers
assigned to units in American Fork, Mount Pleasant,
Price, Tooele, Vernal, Spanish Fork, Blanding, and Camp
Enlisting with the battalion 20 years ago as an E-1,
Dunton has served in every available position.
excited about taking command and taking over such a
successful battalion.” Dunton said of his new
After a deployment many units experience a significant
amount of attrition, but this is not the case with the
1457th, as only a few Soldiers have opted not
However, Dunton knows how important recruiting and
retention still is to his unit, and he will give much of
his focus to those efforts. At the same time, he
expresses gratitude to those who have served and moved
need to let them know they are appreciated. We need to
thank them for their service,” Dunton said.
(Maj. Hank McIntire and Maj. Lorraine Januzelli
contributed to this article.)
Photo by Spc. Kelly K. Collett
Col. Jefferson S. Burton returns the colors back to
Col. Willis who in turn hands the colors over to the
new commander of the 1457th, Lt. Col. Robert T.