Combat vet commands European Combat Training Center
November 5, 2008
HOHENFELS, Germany - The new commander of the Joint Multinational Readiness Center wants the center to be "a learning organization" as it strives to meet the needs of the units it supports.
Col. Charles A. Preysler assumed command of the JMRC during an early morning ceremony at the JMRC gymnasium on Oct. 21. He comes to Germany from Italy where he commanded the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team.
Presiding over the ceremony was Brig. Gen. David R. Hogg, commander, Joint Multinational Training Center. He praised all the different elements that make up the JRMC - its soldiers, civilians and family members - for all they do to train the soldiers who come through its area on their way to their down-range deployments.
"You are the heart and soul of the JMTC," Hogg said. Preysler is the perfect man to lead this effort, Hogg said. He cited the Bloomfield, Mich., native's four combat tours as an example of his experience. "What you have here is a proven combat vet," Hogg said. "He will be an outstanding (commander operations group)."
Preysler cited his own previous experience with JMRC during his previous command. He said his unit benefited greatly from the unit it got in Hohenfels prior to its 15-month deployment in Afghanistan.
"I will be forever grateful for our time in JMRC," Preysler said.
Prior to his time in Italy, Preysler commanded 2nd Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, based at Fort Campbell, Ky. He led his battalion through tours of both Iraq and Afghanistan. He also has tour other tours of Afghanistan under his belt.
"I don't think you can discount experience," Preysler said. "Experience counts, but the trick here is to draw the proper lessons from your experiences.
"I'm really adamant that you have to be flexible and adaptable because everything changes."
This experience will influence his latest command, Preysler said. However, he said it's important to be open to new ideas and not focus too closely on present-day operations.
"We've got to be a very broad spectrum player," Preysler said. "We've got to be very broad and very flexible."
The world situation is rapidly changing. JMRC will have to remain focused on keeping up with the new scenarios created by the new challenges facing the U.S. and its allies.
"One of our challenges is staying very relevant and current in order to help whoever comes through the training center," Preysler said.
Preysler describes his command philosophy as a simple one. He said his style of leadership leans heavily on the Army's core values.
"I'm a believer in the building block approach," Preysler said. "The basic building blocks of an Army are steeped in discipline, physical fitness and loyalty. It's based on the Army values because they are spot on."
During both his change of command remarks and an interview held later that afternoon, Preysler said he appreciated the warm reception he had received since coming to Hohenfels, which lies in Germany's Bavaria region. He is joined on this tour by his wife, Lisa and their sons, C.J. and Alex, who are 13 and 11, respectively.
I want to say, 'thanks for the great reception,'" Preysler said. "It's the best I've seen in 26 years of service, and I'm very happy to be here."
Growing up in Bloomfield Hills, Preysler graduated from Lahser High School in 1978. His mother, Marlene, still lives there. Preysler was commissioned as an Infantry Officer in 1982 while graduating from Michigan State University. He holds a number of Army awards including the Bronze Star for Valor, three awards of the Bronze Star and four awards of the Army Meritorious Service Medal. He also has been awarded the Combat Infantryman Badge, Expert Infantryman Badge, Master Parachutist Badge, Pathfinder Badge and Ranger Tab.