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    678th Air Defense Artillery Brigade conducts change of command ceremony

    678TH ADA Brigade Change of Command Ceremony

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Kevin Pickering | Soldiers from the 678th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, South Carolina National Guard,...... read more read more



    Courtesy Story

    South Carolina National Guard

    Story by 1st Lt. Derek Astorino

    EASTOVER, S.C. – U.S. Army Col. Richard Wholey assumed command of the 678th Air Defense Artillery Brigade from U.S. Army Colonel Frank M. Rice during a change of command ceremony at McCrady Training Center in Eastover, S.C., May 15, 2016.

    “This is one of my favorite things to do,” said U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Glenn Bramhall, commander of the 263rd Army Air and Missile Defense Command, the higher headquarters for the 678th. “We recognize the accomplishments of an outgoing commander and the excitement to see the incoming commander assume his command.”

    The ceremony celebrated the past two years of Rice’s leadership. Rice took command of the 678th ADA Brigade in May 2014, when it was only a paper concept and guided it through to the Brigade’s activation in February to today, where the unit is currently at 96% strength. For the accomplishments under his command, Rice was awarded with the U.S. Army Meritorious Service Medal.

    The 678th ADA Brigade is unique because it is the only integrated fires brigade in the Army’s inventory. It consists of the 2-263rd ADA Battalion and the 1-178th Field Artillery Battalion. During his remarks, Rice recognized that the two units are deeply rooted in American history. The 1-178th traces its lineage back to the Citizen-Soldiers that fought along Francis Marion the “Swamp Fox,” and the 2-263rd has pre-revolutionary war roots and mobilizes often to protect our nation’s capital.

    The change of command has evolved as one of several special events that are traditionally marked with a ceremony. The unit had an activation ceremony in February where they uncased their colors for the first time and now they have been passed from Rice to Wholey.

    Wholey was previously assigned to the 263rd AAMDC where he served as the Assistant Chief of Staff and the Assistant Chief of Staff for Information Management from July 2014 until May 2016. Wholey also served as battalion commander of the 151st Expeditionary Signal Battalion, which included a deployment across four countries in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, New Dawn and Enduring Freedom. As company commander of Charlie Company of the 151st ESB, he was deployed to Kuwait in February of 2003.

    “I am grateful, humbled and honored to assume command of the newest and only true fires unit comprised of both field artillery and air defense artillery elements,” said Wholey. “We must ready ourselves, our Soldiers and our families for when our nation calls.”



    Date Taken: 05.15.2016
    Date Posted: 05.17.2016 11:03
    Story ID: 198351
    Location: EASTOVER, SC, US 

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