HATTIESBURG, MS, UNITED STATES
CAMP SHELBY, Miss. -- The 177th Armored Brigade community recently came together to witness a change in leadership and bid farewell to their outgoing command team.
The passing of the brigade colors to Col. William Chlebowski from Col. Dale Kuehl was celebrated with Soldiers representing the brigade's battalions, civilians, and family members in attendance.
The host of the ceremony Maj. Gen. Kevin R. Wendel, Commanding General of First Army Division East farewelled Kuehl and Swanson and thanked them for their dedication.
"Col. Dale Kuehl and Command Sgt. Maj. Andrew Swanson personify our Army profession," said Wendel. "This command team displays daily the values that comprise our Army ethic and exhibits behavior consistent with those values," he said.
"More times than I can mention, I've been told by Army, community and elected leaders how impressed they are with the level of training and preparedness of deploying soldiers when they leave Camp Shelby," added Wendel.
During Kuehl's outgoing remarks, he highlighted some of his accomplishments during his tenure.
"I have tried to leverage my experiences to help us in our mission to integrate, coordinate, and synchronize in mobilization and demobilization the many units that have come through Camp Shelby over the past two years," said Kuehl. "My intent was to establish a learning organization where officers and noncommissioned officers value their experience here, built upon their past experience, and trained to eventually leave here a better soldier," he said.
Kuehl concluded his speech by thanking his entire family including his wife, the installation partners and First Army Division East.
"I am grateful to every soldier and leader in this formation for the hard work and dedication you have brought to the table every day," said Kuehl. "I am humbled to have had the opportunity to serve with you."
Kuehl will continue to be part of First Army as the operations director at Rock Island Arsenal, IL Chlebowski, the incoming commander, said he was excited to join the Shelby team.
"In reviewing the recent history of this fine outfit, I found an organization that is in a constant state of change and an organization that knows how to adapt and accomplish the missions assigned to it," said Chlebowski. "With the military reduction of forces in Afghanistan and the budgetary challenges that face the Army, there are no doubt a few curve balls that are bound to come our way over the next two years"
"I am looking forward to together facing the challenges that an evolving environment will bring," he said. "Together we will write the next chapter of this great brigade's history."
Change of Responsibility
Command Sgt. Maj. Andrew Swanson, the senior enlisted noncommission officer in the 177th Armored Brigade acknowledged his retirement and gratitude as he passed his responsibilities to incoming Command Sgt. Maj. Matthew McDowell.
Swanson retires with 27 years of experience in Army.
"The partnership and support the team at Camp Shelby has given the 177th AR Bde has allowed us to focus on our mission of mobilization, training excellence, and demobilization of Soldiers," said Swanson.
"It has been a very rewarding experience and a great end to a great career," Swanson concluded. Swanson and his family will retire in North Carolina.
McDowell, a native of Evansville, Ind., comes to First Army Division East from his most recent assignment as command sergeant major of 1st Squadron, 4th U.S. Cavalry, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Riley, Kan.
The 177th Armored Brigade, part of First Army Division East, mobilizes, trains, validates and deploys Reserve Component units to support overseas military operations. Along with Reserve component units, the division's trainer/mentors prepare and deploy sailors and airmen, along with selected members of the interagency and intergovernmental departments, to provide trained and ready forces across a full-spectrum of operations to regional combatant commanders worldwide.
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This work, New command team accepts brigade colors, by SGT Karen Sampson, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.