Newly promoted Brigadier General Larry M. Pinkerton, left, is congratulated by Ohio Adjutant General Major General John C. Harris at Haubrich Armory on Saturday, April 2. Pinkerton is the incoming Commander of the State of Ohio Defense Forces, overseeing the Ohio Military Reserve, Ohio Naval Militia and Ohio Cyber Reserve. (Submitted photo)
Newly promoted Brigadier General Larry M. Pinkerton, left, is congratulated by Ohio Adjutant General Major General John C. Harris at Haubrich Armory on Saturday, April 2. Pinkerton is the incoming Commander of the State of Ohio Defense Forces, overseeing the Ohio Military Reserve, Ohio Naval Militia and Ohio Cyber Reserve. (Submitted photo)
Maj. Gen. John C. Harris Jr., Ohio adjutant general, has appointed Larry M. Pinkerton, a retired colonel in the Ohio Army National Guard, to the position of commander of the State of Ohio Defense Forces (OHSDF).

Pinkerton takes command upon the retirement of Brig. Gen. (OH) Richard J. Vasquez, who has led the organization since its inception in 2019. OHSDF is the coordination military organization over three volunteer components: the Ohio Military Reserve (OHMR), Ohio Naval Militia (ONM) and Ohio Cyber Reserve.

Harris promoted Pinkerton to the rank of brigadier general and presented him with the guidon, or symbolic colors, of the State Defense Force during a time-honored change of command ceremony held at OHSDF Headquarters at Haubrich Armory in Columbus in front of members of the Ohio Military Reserve and Ohio Naval Militia.

In his remarks, Harris stated he was appreciative of the work Vasquez had completed to have the Ohio Military Reserve and Naval Militia to be in position for multiple emergency calls to state active duty completed during the state’s COVID-19 response beginning in March 2020 and ending in March 2022.

“I want to thank Gen. Vasquez for his leadership, and I have every confidence in the abilities of Brig. Gen. Pinkerton to lead and grow this organization,” Harris said.

For his part, Pinkerton was grateful for the opportunity to lead: “I am honored to once again serve the people of Ohio and to lead the State Defense Forces at this time in its history. We have accomplished much, but there is much more to accomplish.”

Pinkerton holds a bachelor’s degree from Wright State University and a Master of Science from Florida Institute of Technology. He retired as deputy commander of the Ohio Army National Guard’s 174th Air Defense Artillery Brigade after a 30-year career.