I did a bit of research on Fort Irwin to supplement what I already knew... With 20 years in service I managed to avoid going entirely but I did hear many tales about attending training there.
Here's the thing, the Garrison Commander position at Irwin is an O6 position, a Colonel. The Installation Commander however is an O7 position, a Brigadier General or "One Star."
So what happened to the General? Did he get eaten or turn during the outbreak or is he now heading up Command of Boulder?
Another thing about Col. Kimmet is his background. What is it? Sure, he's an officer and current commander of Irwin, but what else? I'd like to know what his command field is/was and if he really was the Garrison Commander at the outset.
A thought that struck me today remembering something that Puck said, "A week later and we would have had an Infantry Brigade here." He also said that they had sent their gear ahead. I mentioned elsewhere that if their gear was "on the ground" it was likely that Brigade's Advance Party was on the ground as well.
Now, the position of Brigade Commander is an O6 position, a Colonel. What if Col Kimmet was the Commander of that Infantry Brigade went ahead with the Advance Party and took charge when SHTF? It would make sense. He stated that "other commands" hesitated doing what needed to be done. An Infantry Brigade Commander surely would be less hesitant in my book.
Not sure if it really makes any difference, but then again it might.