WHINSEC Welcomes Col. Robert F. Alvaro, Sixth Commandant

The Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation bid farewell to U.S. Army Col. Keith W. Anthony and welcomed Col. Robert F. Alvaro, also from the U.S Army, as commandant on July 19th.
Lee A. Rials, WHINSEC Public Affairs | 8 August 2017

Capacity Building

Col. Keith W. Anthony reviews his 39 months at the helm of WHINSEC during the Change of Command ceremony, on July 19th, on the institute’s campus. (Photo: Lee A. Rials, WHINSEC Public Affairs)

U.S. Army Brigadier General Eugene (Gene) J. LeBoeuf, the deputy commanding general and executive vice provost for Academic Affairs for Army University, Combined Arms Center, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, hosted a change-of-command ceremony on July 19th, in front of Bradley Hall, the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC) headquarters, to pass the institute’s colors from U.S. Army Colonel Keith W. Anthony to Colonel Robert F. Alvaro, also from the U.S. Army, symbolizing the transfer of authority and responsibility. In his remarks to the audience of both members and friends of the institute, Brig. Gen. LeBoeuf commended Col. Anthony on his achievements during the past three years and three months, noting the creation of the Center for Human Rights and Democracy and the improved relations with several countries in the region, leading to more participation from them.

The key point of Col. Anthony’s farewell comments was transformation. “WHINSEC has been in a state of transformation, ensuring relevance, and always maintaining the highest standards as a premier institute of learning for our partners. We need to embrace change. We need to embrace transformation,” he said. Col. Anthony will now go to the U.S. Department of State, where he will be the senior Department of Defense advisor in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs.

Col. Alvaro comes to WHINSEC from the William J. Perry Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies, a partner of the institute in its focus on education of leaders in this part of the world. He has had extensive service and experience in the region as a foreign area officer, with assignments as chief of the Office of Security Cooperation in Nicaragua and an exchange instructor at the Argentine Army Mountain Operations School. He has also served as a country director at the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Western Hemisphere Affairs, and as the political-military planner and country desk officer at U.S. Southern Command.

The WHINSEC formation prepares for the passing of command from U.S. Army Colonel Keith W. Anthony to U.S. Army Colonel Robert F. Alvaro in front of Bradley Hall on the Baltzell Avenue campus, on July 19th. (Photo: Lee A. Rials, WHINSEC Public Affairs)

Col. Alvaro is an infantry officer. He served as battalion logistical officer, company executive officer, and rifle platoon leader in the 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum, New York; as plans officer in the Second Infantry Division in South Korea; and as Division G3 readiness officer and company commander in the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. He deployed to Iraq during Operation New Dawn, serving in the Iraqi Security Assistance Mission, Baghdad.

He holds an MA in Latin American Studies from the University of South Florida and a BA in Psychology from the University of Puerto Rico. He is a graduate of the Combined Warfighting School, Joint Forces Staff College, National Defense University, as well as the U.S. Army’s Command and General Staff College. His military awards and decorations include a Bronze Medal, three Defense Meritorious Service Medals, a Distinguished Defense Award, an Expert Infantryman’s Badge, a Master Parachutist Badge, and German, Canadian, and French Parachutist Badges.


WHINSEC opened in 2001 to provide professional education and training to eligible persons of the nations of the Western Hemisphere within the context of the democratic principles set forth in the Charter of the Organization of American States. As a Department of Defense institute run by the U.S. Army, it excels in fostering mutual knowledge, transparency, confidence, and cooperation and in promoting democratic values, respect for human rights, and an understanding of U.S. customs and traditions. The institute has the most extensive democracy, ethics and human rights training in all of Department of Defense. For more information on WHINSEC, please visit www.benning.army.mil/tenant/whinsec or on Facebook: www.facebook.com/whinsec

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