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NMSU ROTC commander Gavle retires this summer, reflects on career

After 26 years of military service and three years as the New Mexico State University ROTC commander, there was really only one thing Lt. Col. Bradley Gavle wanted before his retirement.



New Mexico State University ROTC commander Lt. Col. Brad Gavle will retire from the Army after 26 years of service.

He wanted the U.S. flag that was flown on the campus Horseshoe and was raised and lowered by ROTC cadets he has taught and molded into leaders.

Well, that - and "It's time to figure out what I want to do with the rest of my life," he said with a laugh.

The army has been his life, and several moments stand out in a big way. Early on in his career, Gavle was present the night the Iron Curtain came down between East and West Germany in 1989.

As an operations officer, he was in a cavalry of 1,241 soldiers who pushed into Baghdad in 2003 and all 1,241 came out alive. "That's unprecedented and an accomplishment I'm very proud of," Gavle said.

Memorable highlights from his career at NMSU include leading the cannon crew at home football games, inducting then interim-president Waded Cruzado and distinguished alum Gary Cataldo into the alumni chapter of the NMSU ROTC program and, of course, everyday interaction with the NMSU campus community.

Colleague and Air Force ROTC commander Lt. Col. Steve Groll describes Gavle as a "battle-tested" warrior who has always been committed to the defense of this nation. "The cadets get the benefit of his operational experience and his compassion for ensuring only the best young officers are commissioned through NMSU's Army ROTC program," Groll said.

Gavle calls himself lucky to have received placement at NMSU. "I was worried about fitting in with the College of Arts and Sciences, but I knew within about a month of being here this was going to be a great tour of duty."

Upon retiring July 10, he will move to Pennsylvania to be with his wife who is a colonel in the army and their daughter. Since his wife is in the army, he will continue to be "transient" as he follows his wife from assignment to assignment.

Maj. Andy Taylor an engineer officer will succeed Gavle. Taylor comes to NMSU from Ft. Lewis, Wash. and will begin his duties this summer.

Gavle did receive the flag from the campus Horseshoe and will keep it as a memento of his time at NMSU. He hopes to come back to Las Cruces, N.M. to "retire, retire."

"While his retirement leaves a noticeable void, his legacy will live on in the Army for many years to come. The enthusiasm he brought to the office daily made us all want to strive a little harder to be the best that we can be," Groll said.