News: Col. Amy M. Taitano assumes command of the 650th Regional Support Group
Story by 1st Lt. Fernando Ochoa
LAS VEGAS – Col. Amy M. Taitano, a native of Nevada, assumed command of the 650th Regional Support Group, June 30, in a change of command ceremony at the Thunderbird Hangar on Nellis AFB in Las Vegas.
Col. (Promotable) Norman B. Green, commander of the 4th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), located in San Antonio, was present to transfer the unit colors to Taitano from Col. David Daniels, who has led the battalion for three years.
Taitano was commissioned through the Reserve Officers Training Corps at Minnesota State University, where she graduated magna cum laude and received a Bachelor of Science degree in administration management and industrial relations. She also has an accounting concentration from the University of Guam.
Las Vegas is one hot venue. Even though it was the hottest day of the year to date, 116 degrees, an overcast sky and shelter under the hangar made the event pleasant.
Before the official ceremony, Taitano was promoted to colonel by her longtime friend and colleague Col. (Promotable) Green. The two have served and known each other for eight years.
“I want you to understand how exceptional this promotion is. Lt. Col. Taitano was one of 6,000 candidates and she was the best choice,” said Green. “She is forward thinking, skillful and a fantastic leader.”
The ceremony began with the traditional ceremonial pageantry. The standing units were summoned to order arms. The audience stood for the presentation of the colors and honors, and the units were brought to present arms, then to parade rest. Then, the official party made an inspection of the troops. These displays of uniformity were executed with discipline and precision.
Daniels thanked everyone present, especially the soldiers of the brigade for their contribution to his command.
“It was an honor being your commander and I want you all to know how much I appreciate your hard work,” said Daniels.
Taitano was enthusiastic and energized as she accepted the 650th RSG command. She thanked the soldiers and distinguished visitors for their presence.
“This is the first time my civilian co-workers, real family and Army families have been together in the same place in my twenty-five year career,” said Taitano. “I’m only here because of my friends and family.”
Taitano made sure the audience understood that our country is still involved in a global war on terrorism. She emphasized that the most important part of the Army was its personnel.
“Units are about people and what units can do for its people, while executing its mission to support its lower and higher command.” said, Taitano. “Get ready to work; it’s going to be fun.”
In the center of the hangar, the formal transfer of authority and responsibility for the unit took place. Command Sgt. Maj. Winsome Loas, who is the keeper of the colors, passed the colors to Col. Daniels, representing the outgoing commander. He then passed the colors to Col. (Promotable) Green who was the representative of the higher command, symbolizing the relinquishment of his command.
The higher commander then delivered the colors to Col. Taitano. Finally, the new commander passed the colors back to the command sergeant major, who is charged with protecting it. At the end of the ceremony, the commander of the higher command ordered the new brigade commander to take charge of her brigade.
Taitano’s prior assignment was commander of the 420th Transportation Battalion (Movement Control). She has deployed three times, including Operation Enduring Freedom in 2005, Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2009 and Operation Enduring Freedom in 2012. At the end of her remarks, she quoted Maj. Gen. Tatu’s signature motto saying, “To do for country.”
The 650th RSG was constituted in the Army Reserve in 1998 at Salt Lake City. The unit was reassigned to Las Vegas in 2007. In August 2010 the unit deployed to Kabul, Afghanistan, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. In 2011, the 650th RSG was realigned under the 311th Sustainment Command and took control of three battalions: 314th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 469th CSSB and the 483rd Transportation Battalion. Its area of operation spans over three states, including California, Nevada and Arizona.