News: 'Ready First' brigade welcomes Adgie as new commander
Story by Spc. Jessica Luhrs-Stabile
EL PASO, Texas -- During a ceremony rich in tradition the soldiers of 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, “Ready First” 1st Armored Division, witnessed a Brigade Change of Command, June 13, on the Ready First Parade Field.
Col. Larry Swift, the outgoing commander of “Ready First,” relinquished command to Col. Ken Adgie, a native of National Park, N.J., who was the G3 of Fort Bliss.
The host and reviewing officer of the ceremony was the commanding general of 1st AD and Fort Bliss, Maj. Gen. Dana J.H. Pittard. Other distinguished guests of the event included Command Sgt. Maj. David Davenport, command sergeant major of 1st AD and Fort Bliss; Command Sgt. Maj. James P. Daniels, former command sergeant major of “Ready First;” Col. (retired) Louis Sturbois, a former commander of “Ready First;” leaders from across Fort Bliss and the soldiers of “Ready First.”
Swift, an infantry officer with more than 20 years of service has been the commander of “Ready First” since June of 2009. During his time with “Ready First” Swift led his soldiers through a transition to a heavy brigade combat team then a successful National Training Center rotation followed by a year-long deployment to Kirkuk, Iraq. Immediately after returning from Iraq he oversaw the brigade as it converted to a Stryker Brigade Combat Team. He will be continuing onto be a student at the U.S. Army War College.
“It has been truly an opportunity and an honor of a lifetime to command this storied brigade for the last two years,” said Swift, who is a native of Sackets Harbor, N.Y. and has also lived in Baltimore, Md.
Pittard, who honored Swift at the ceremony by passing on his 75 Pack Howitzer salute and awarding Swift the Legion of Merit, said Swift, would always have a place with the “Old Ironsides” and Team Bliss.
The incoming commander Adgie is a graduate of Louisiana State University and the U.S. Army War College. He received his commission through LSU’s ROTC program as an infantry officer in 1988 and was a Distinguished Military Graduate.
“Col. Adgie will be taking the helm of the Ready First Combat Team with new energy, fresh ideas, and a great understanding of what is required to train a unit to win,” said Swift, during his speech. “I wish him the best of luck and know you (Ready First) will give him the support you gave me.”
During his first speech as commander of “Ready First” Adgie took the time to thank his new soldiers and their families for their dedication and pride.
“We must say thank you to these magnificent soldiers standing before us on this field of honor, and to their families, those here and across this great nation,” he said. “Our soldiers have mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, sons and daughters whose pride in their Ready First soldier is overwhelming.”