102nd Training Division-Maneuver Support bids farewell to Baker, welcomes Kokaska

Maj. David Dunn
102nd Training Division Public Affairs
Brig. Gen. James Kokaska (left) relieves Brig. Gen. Matthew Baker as 102nd Training Division-Maneuver Support commander during a change of command ceremony Aug. 1 in Lincoln Hall Auditorium.

FORT LEONARD WOOD— 102nd Training Division-Maneuver Support said farewell to Brig. Gen. Matthew Baker and welcomed Brig. Gen. James Kokaska during a change-of-command ceremony Aug. 1 in Lincoln Hall Auditorium.

Kokaska took command of a U.S. Army Reserve organization that includes skill sets such as engineers, military police, chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear defense, military intelligence, signal corps, civil affairs and psychological operations.

“Commanding an organization at any level is an honor and a privilege,” he said. “I will make sure this unit is always ready and be humble and compassionate in my approach. I commend the great accomplishments of the unit and the leaders celebrated here today and look forward to the exciting times ahead.”

Kokaska is a native of Chicago, Illinois. As a civilian, he is a central regional director for a Chicago area healthcare organization.

Baker has commanded the 102nd Training Division-MS since June 2019. He led the organization thru changes to ensure Soldiers were able to continue training in a COVID environment.

“The challenges to the brigade commanders … is figuring out how to get after it,” Baker said. “We can’t stop; we still have to train Soldiers.”

The 102nd Training Division-MS is a generating force executing the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command foundational capabilities of building and improving readiness by providing mission-critical, combat-ready Soldiers to the Army and Joint Warfighter that are trained, competent, lethal and globally responsive to deter conflicts, protect national interests and win the nation’s wars.