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‘Devil’ brigade Soldiers welcome new commander

By Staff Sgt. Warren W. Wright Jr. | 1ST ABCT PUBLIC AFFAIRS | July 26, 2017

     More than 1,000 Soldiers from across the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, stood on the Cavalry Parade Field and welcomed their new commander during a change of command ceremony July 12.

     The ceremony marked the beginning of command for Col. Charles S. Armstrong following his previous assignment as the command center director for the North American Aerospace Defense Command and the U.S. Northern Command.

     “This is an important day for the 1st Inf. Div., and more so for the ‘Devil’ brigade, because it signifies the end of an era, with Col. Tim Hayden at the helm, and the advent of the next (era) led by Col. Chuck Armstrong,” said Brig. Gen. William A. Turner, the 1st Inf. Div. acting senior commander. “Col. Chuck Armstrong is absolutely the right man to lead the fine men and women of the 1st brigade to victory.”

     The ceremony also officially marked the end of command for Col. Timothy C. Hayden, who served as the Devil brigade’s commander since June 2015.

     “To be at this place in time, at our place in history, serving and commanding in the Fighting First in our centennial year, and being able to say that my name’s Hayden and I’m a Big Red One Soldier, is just awesome,” Hayden said. “I’m proud and humbled to do so.”

     During his time in command, Hayden led his Soldiers on an extensive train-up that included the brigade’s vigorous Danger Focus exercise before taking the unit to the National Training Center in Fort Irwin, California, for a monthlong exercise that prepared the brigade for their nine-month rotation in South Korea.

     While deployed, Hayden successfully led the brigade on multiple joint and combined exercises with multiple military units from both the U.S. and South Korea, greatly increasing the readiness of forces south of the Korean Demilitarized Zone in defense of the Korean peninsula.

     “While there, we trained daily to hone readiness and live by the motto of ‘Fight Tonight,’” Hayden said. “I have no doubt in my mind that each and every Devil Soldier is ready to do that, and more.”

     While bidding farewell to his Soldiers on the field, Hayden took the time to thank the families and the local community for their support of the brigade and its Soldiers.

     “You are just the most incredible community in the world,” he said. “Your honest, midwestern love of nation and support to our troops have given us the greatest gift — a place we can call home.”

     The change of command comes just a couple of weeks after the entire brigade returned from their Korean deployment. The ceremony also gave Hayden the opportunity to uncase the brigade’s colors, symbolizing the official end of the unit’s Korea mission.

     Hayden officially relinquished command of the brigade as he passed on the unit’s colors to Turner who then passed the colors on to Armstrong, signifying the start of Armstrong’s command.

     “(I) look forward to serving alongside you as we continue to train and remain ready to accomplish any mission, anywhere, at any time,” Armstrong said. “I remain resolute in my conviction that together we will be able to ensure that the legacy of excellence, earned by those who came before use, will continue under our watch.”

     The ceremony concluded with a pass and review of the Devil brigade Soldiers followed by a cavalry charge on horseback by Soldiers from the Commanding General’s Mounted Color Guard dressed in period cavalry uniforms, honoring the post’s cavalry history.

 

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