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NEWS | Aug. 1, 2023

Army civilian operations planner promoted to lieutenant colonel in Army Reserve

By Walter Ham 20th CBRNE Command

An Army civilian operations planner from the U.S. military’s premier all hazards formation was promoted to lieutenant colonel in the Army Reserve during a ceremony on Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, July 28.

Lt. Col. Nathan C. Cantwell was promoted to his current rank during the ceremony at the Mallette Auditorium.

Cantwell serves as the Army Reserve operations officer at Army Material Command – Army Reserve Element (AMC-ARE) Detachment 7, which directly supports the Communications-Electronics Command, and an Army civilian operations planner at the 20th Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, Explosives (CBRNE) Command on Aberdeen Proving Ground.

With units on 19 bases in 16 states, the 20th CBRNE Command is home to 75 percent of the active-duty U.S. Army’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) technicians and Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear (CBRN) specialists, as well as the 1st Area Medical Laboratory, CBRNE Analytical and Remediation Activity, five Weapons of Mass Destruction Coordination Teams and three Nuclear Disablement Teams.

Brig. Gen. Daryl O. Hood, the commanding general of the 20th CBRNE Command, hosted the ceremony and recognized Cantwell for his service.

Hood said that Cantwell personified the power of the combined Army Team through his service as a National Guardsmen, active-duty Soldier, Army Reservist and Army civilian.

The Army’s greatest strength is our people, Hood emphasized.

Cantwell was promoted because he demonstrated that he was an exceptional professional who could lead, care and train people and maintain equipment, said Hood.

A native of Phoenix who graduated from the New Mexico Military Institute and New Mexico State University, Cantwell is a Field Artillery officer who has deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. He also served in Germany for 12 years.

Cantwell serves as the Reserve operations officer and has continually supported the Communications-Electronics Command (CECOM) on Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland during his annual training and monthly training weekends in the command’s Current Operations (G3/5) staff office. In this Reserve capacity, he has supported exercises, equipment testing, equipment fielding and other events identified by the CECOM commander and staff.

CECOM delivers Command, Control, Communications Computers, Cyber, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C5ISR) capabilities, weapons systems, business systems and medical sustainment to enable full spectrum combat operations around the world.

Maj. Gen. Robert L. Edmondson II is the commanding general for CECOM, and he serves as the senior mission commander for Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland.

Cantwell said 20th CBRNE Command has a strong relationship with the Army Reserve through its multicomponent Weapons of Mass Destruction Coordination Team 3 and the Army Reserve Consequence Management Unit.

“There is a lot of overlap between my Army Reserve and Army civilian life,” said Cantwell. “Working with Soldiers as a leader on the weekends keeps me better focused on what I need to do as an Army civilian to ensure those Soldiers at the brigades and groups are receiving what they need to prepare for their next mission.”

As an Army civilian, Cantwell serves as a plans analyst in the Future Operations (G35) section.

Cantwell said the 20th CBRNE Command routinely overcomes the tyranny of distance when working with subordinate units across the nation to support U.S. Army Forces Command and combat commands around the world.

“Despite the complexity, the command very successfully manages those subordinate headquarters and provides combat capability to combatant commands ready for mission success,” said Cantwell. “The level of comradery among many of the civilians and the military personnel that come to the headquarters make the command unique in its ability to capitalize on requirements.”

Cantwell said his wife Romy Cantwell has been the driving force throughout his career.

“This is a rank for you as much as it is for me,” said Cantwell to his wife, while also thanking his son William and late daughter Lilian-Destiny for their support.