Fort Riley, Kansas



‘Durable’ Brigade Soldiers welcome new leaders

By Capt. Kymberly Koenig | 1stSustainmentBDE | August 13, 2013

A Soldier who is no stranger to the 1st Infantry Division and Fort Riley community assumed command July 26 of the 1st Sustainment Brigade.

Col. Robert A. Law III accepted the brigade's colors after Col. Brian J. Tempest relinquished his command during a ceremony at Cavalry Parade Field.

Law has donned the "Big Red One" patch before, serving with the 3rd and 4th infantry brigade combat teams and with the division's headquarters.

The logistics officer and Villanova University, Philadelphia, graduate served with the division during Operation Desert Storm, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Kosovo. Most recently, following graduation from the U.S. Naval War College in June 2012, the 24-year veteran served as the 1st Inf. Div.'s chief of sustainment.

Now a "Durable" Soldier, Law said he looks forward to serving with the unit and continuing the legacy of a Big Red One Soldier.

"This is our second time at Fort Riley, and it has been a great past year meeting new friends and getting reacquainted with the wonderful folks who live and work in the flint hills," he said.

Along with a new commander, the Durable Brigade welcomed incoming Command Sgt. Maj. Tomeka O'Neal and bid farewell to Command Sgt. Maj. Virgil W. McCloud during the unit's change of responsibility that also took place during the ceremony.

Law passed the unit's colors to O'Neal, a Chicago native, entrusting her with responsibility of the unit and its Soldiers.

The 24-year veteran came to the Durable Brigade from Fort Carson, Colo., where she served as a special troops battalion senior enlisted adviser.

Tempest led the brigade during its recent deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and oversaw logistical support to more than 100,000 Soldiers, Airmen, Marines and Sailors who operated out of three regional commands, while enabling retrograde operations.

Tempest, who has spent more than 11 years in the Central Flint Hills Region, reflected on his time with the Durable Brigade.

"The last 25 months have been a busy time for the 1st. Sust. Bde," he said. "Despite the high operational tempo, from the train-up and deployment of the brigade's headquarters and Special Troops Battalion, to the 541st Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 1st Maintenance Company and 84th Explosive Ordnance Disposal Battalion's separate deployments in support of OEF, this brigade has achieved great success."

The Grammar, Ind., native thanked the Soldiers for their dedication, professionalism and support, while wishing Law and O'Neal luck as they begin their new mission.

"The Durable Brigade stands ready for your leadership and inspiration as you continue to build upon the great legacy of this brigade," he said.

"This is our third time in this great division, and I am deeply honored to now command the Durable Brigade," Law said. "I am Law, and I am a Big Red One Soldier."

Tag 1Sustain