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New commander for the Rappahannock Battalion Sgt. Edwin Rodriguez

Col. Lawrence Kominiak, left, 7th Sustainment Brigade commander, proceeds to the parade field with Lt. Col. Steven M. Wilke, center, outgoing Special Troops Battalion commander, and Lt. Col. Noah C. Cloud, STB incoming commander, during the STB change of command ceremony, Oct. 26 at Murphy Field. The passing of the colors is a time-honored military tradition symbolizing the passing of command authority from an outgoing commander, in this case, Wilke, to his replacement, Cloud. With the passing of the colors, Cloud assumes responsibility for the battalion.

FORT EUSTIS, Virginia, - The Army continued to roll along, days before Hurricane Sandy stormed through the East Coast, as Fort Eustis hosted a change of command ceremony.

Lt. Col. Noah C. Cloud assumes command of the Special Troops Battalion, 7th Sustainment Brigade from Lt. Col. Steven M. Wilke during a change of command ceremony Oct. 26 at Murphy Field.

A change of command is a military tradition that represents responsibility for a unit and formal transfer of authority from one commanding officer to another. The passing of colors from an outgoing commander to an incoming one ensures that the unit and its soldiers are never without official leadership and also signifies an allegiance of soldiers to their unit's commander.

Wilke was in command for approximately two years, albeit, one while deployed to Afghanistan. While overseas, he commanded a battalion that was in charge of emergency or standard aerial deliver of supplies and mail spanning three regions of Afghanistan. The STB was also instrumental in financial support throughout the country. Upon his return to Fort Eustis, Wilke has been in command and control during the battalion’s transformation as many units have been deactivated while the unit still needed to maintain a high level of readiness supporting troops serving overseas.

Wilke was honored to be part of the ‘Rappahannock” battalion.

“What impressed me the most besides the hard working troops in the battalion is how my staff could manage so many especially at the time the battalion had 1,200 soldiers,” said Wilke. “It takes a good group to get it done. “

"I really enjoyed my time with this great organization which follows the lead of another great organization, the 7th Sustainment brigade,” said Wilke. “We have a good group of diverse individuals that kept me busy, unfortunately, it is time to move on."

During his speech he also recognized the greatest source of strength in his life: his family.

“I want to thank my wife and family. You have loved and supported my military career for 15 years at the expense of your own,” shared Wilke. “You endured the long hours of the job and my fanatical hobbies but there is no better feeling then to know you have been there through everything. I am blessed to have you in my life.”

Cloud, the incoming STB commander, was ready to get the ship sailing as new commander.

“I look forward to the challenges ahead knowing that we have a great battalion of soldiers. I feel truly honored to command this honorable unit,” said Cloud.

Colonel Lawrence Kominiak, 7th Sus. Bde. commander, was gracious of Wilke’s tenure.

“You can certainly be proud of your unit and the legacy you leave behind. A truly marvelous job,” said Kominiak.

And for the new commander…

“In typical army fashion, as a great leader leaves, so comes another one...I want to welcome you and your family to the 7th Sustainment Brigade family. Resolute All the Way!” said Kominiak.


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Col. Lawrence Kominiak, left, 7th Sustainment Brigade...


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Public Domain Mark
This work, New commander for the Rappahannock Battalion, by SGT Edwin Rodriguez, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.

Date Taken:10.26.2012

Date Posted:10.31.2012 10:33

Location:FORT EUSTIS, VA, USGlobe

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