Ceremony marks first change of command for USARAF's HHBn
July 9, 2014
More than 200 Soldiers, Civilians and Family members gathered July 9 at Caserme Ederle's Hoekstra Field for U.S. Army Africa Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion's first change of command.
Lt. Col. Robert Brogan relinquished command to Lt. Col. Anthony R. DeKeyzer in a ceremony marking the end of Brogan's three-year command.
Maj. Gen. Darryl A. Williams, USARAF's commander, presided over the ceremony.
At the time of the activation, Lt. Col. Bob Brogan said: 'As we take this initial step in growing the battalion, rest assured you will have my full commitment and dedication.' He kept his word. The past three years have brought countless challenges; Bob has met each and laid the stones that have paved the road to success for USARAF," Williams said.
Before heading to the Pentagon to work with Department of the Army Operations Division, Brogan looked back on his tenure as the first HHBn commander.
"The biggest challenge was getting the systems and processes set up, working and then getting people to use them," Brogan said.
Williams welcomed DeKeyzer to USARAF and his new position as commander of HHBn.
"Today isn't just about saying goodbye to a great leader and wishing him well. It is also the day we welcome another professional Soldier into our circle," Williams said.
"Lt. Col. Anthony DeKeyzer left Texas to move to Italy. Good choice. And it's not his first. Back in 1986, Tony decided to dedicate his life to his country. I salute you on your decision. But he did it by enlisting in the United States Marine Corps. After a few years, Tony made the great move to the Army when he was commissioned in 1995."
Williams said DeKeyzer's military career has been a commendable path to his current assignment.
"We look forward to having you as a key leader in the Vicenza Military Community," Williams said. "I am sure the skills you've learned in your various assignments, including Guam with the Marines and Germany, Kosovo, Wisconsin, Iraq, West Virginia and most recently Texas, will benefit those who you lead.
After completing boot camp at Marine Corps Recruitment Depot San Diego, Calif., he attended the Infantry Advanced Individual Training School at Camp Pendleton, Calif. Following graduation from Western Illinois University ROTC in 1995, he was commissioned a second lieutenant Armor officer.
"Your progression in the military will benefit you at USARAF, where the challenges are many and varied and it often takes nimble minds and inventive thinking to get the job done. You will be an example to those in your battalion, as John Quincy said, 'If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader,'" Williams said.
DeKeyzer thanked Brogan and his team.
"To the battalion command team, standing-up this battalion was a difficult task. Your efforts and accomplishments are recognized and appreciated," he said. "I will do my best to continue the path that you have started."
DeKeyzer was most recently assigned as the Command Inspector General for 1st Armor Division and Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas. He is currently studying to obtain his master's degree with Central Michigan University.
DeKeyzer's military awards include the Bronze Star Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with oakleaf cluster (subsequent awards), Army Commendation Medal with OLC, Joint Service Achievement Medal, Army Achievement Medal with OLC, Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal with Bronze Star, Kosovo Campaign Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Navy Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, Navy and Marine Corps Overseas Service Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Army Overseas Service Ribbon, NATO Medal, and Parachute Badge.