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    Lt. Col. Gray assumes command of the 419th CSSB

    Lt. Col. Gray assumes command of the 419th CSSB

    Photo By Capt. Fernando Ochoa | Lt. Col. Lewis Gray, an Arkansas native, accepts the 419th Combat Sustainment Support...... read more read more



    Story by Capt. Fernando Ochoa 

    311th Expeditionary Sustainment Command   

    TUSTIN, Calif. – Lt. Col. Lewis Gray, an Arkansas native, assumed command of the 419th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion in a change of command ceremony at the U.S. Army Reserve Center in Tustin, Calif. August 8, 2020, where Col. Anthony Ely, 653rd Regional Support Group commander, Mesa, Arizona, was present to transfer the unit colors to Lt. Col. Gray from Lt. Col. Henry Empeno, who has led the unit for two years.

    Gray has extensive service in Combat Arms with the Arkansas National Guard as an enlisted Guardsman in the Field Artillery in 1989. Commissioned in 2002, he served as a Platoon Leader and later Battery Commander. Serving on the ARNG Battle Staff, he supported his state during multiple emergencies, including Hurricane Katrina, Ike and Ide Storm Sandy.

    In 2015, Gray transitioned to the Army Reserve, serving at the 90th Sustainment BDE, Little Rock, AR, the 75th Training Division, Fort Sill, OK and the 102nd TNG DIV, Fort Leonard Wood, MO. As an engineer with a MBA, he is currently the Chief Operations Officer for LinkOne Ingredients Solutions in Monett, MO.

    This outdoor ceremony was conducted in the unit’s formation ground on a day where the weather was perfect, so the Soldiers and guests in attendance enjoyed a pleasant event, each complying with social distancing guidelines.

    The ceremony began with the traditional ceremonial traditions. The down trace units and companies 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. These displays of uniformity were executed with discipline and precision.

    In the center of the formation ground, the formal transfer of authority and responsibility for the unit took place. Command Sgt. Maj. Maurice Chappell, 419th CSSB command sergeant major, who is the keeper of the colors, passed the colors to Lt. Col. Empeno the outgoing commander. He then passed the colors to Col. Anthony Ely, the representative of the higher command, symbolizing the relinquishment of his command. Col. Ely then delivered the colors to Lt. Col. Gray, the new commander.

    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 battalion commander to take charge of his brigade.

    Empeno thanked his Soldiers, honored guests, and especially Command Sgt. Maj. Chappell who help lead the 419th CSSB to the top of the brigade, saying,
    “It has been an honor to serve with this staff and Soldiers and it has only been with your support that I could have had such an amazing journey.”

    Informally, Col. Ely addressed the Soldiers and audience. He thanked Lt. Col. Empeno for doing an amazing job, saying that Lt. Col. Empeno had put a great brand on the 419th CSSB. He also thanked Lt. Col. Gray, knowing that he will be travelling over 1,700 miles from his home to lead his Soldiers.

    Gray was humbled and honored with this appointment as the battalion commander saying, “It is an honor to be selected as your new battalion commander and I look forward to working with you.”

    The 419th CSSB is a multifunctional logistics headquarters that is organized and capability required to support specified mission requirements. The CSSB supports echelon above brigade units, multifunctional brigades, functional support brigades, and brigade combat teams.



    Date Taken: 08.08.2020
    Date Posted: 08.20.2020 13:52
    Story ID: 376400
    Location: TUSTIN, CA, US 

    Web Views: 91
    Downloads: 0