1st Armored Division marks change in command
May 13, 2009
WIESBADEN, Germany Aca,!" Slightly more than two years after assuming command of 1st Armored Division and leading the division and Multinational Division North in Iraq for 15 months, Maj. Gen. Mark P. Hertling handed over the reins to incoming commander, Maj. Gen. Terry A. Wolff.
During a change of command ceremony on Wiesbaden Army AirfieldAca,!a,,cs Minue Field May 12, local mayors, German and American military members, and friends from around the command gathered to bid farewell to the Hertlings and to welcome Wolff and his wife, Martha Winkler.
Aca,!A"ItAca,!a,,cs finally come -- the final day -- and I know itAca,!a,,cs bittersweet -- six years of cumulative service with Old Ironsides. Aca,!A| We all know you are the consummate warrior diplomat who expertly prepared and led this division to its recent success as Multinational Division North,Aca,!A? said Lt. Gen. Kenneth W. Hunzeker, V Corps commander.
Aca,!A"I can say first-hand that Mark Hertling leaves a legacy, not just in the storied 1st Armored Division but also in our Army as we continually improve counter-insurgency doctrine and asymmetric warfare capability,Aca,!A? Hunzeker said.
V CorpsAca,!a,,c commander praised the efforts of 1st AD Soldiers under HertlingAca,!a,,cs leadership during the divisionAca,!a,,cs most recent deployment to Iraq.
Aca,!A"ItAca,!a,,cs not so much where the division was or how big the area of operations was or which units they commanded Aca,!" but what we should remember is what the division did,Aca,!A? he said. Aca,!A"We should remember how the division allowed the Iraqi people of northern Iraq to move forward in civil, economic progress. And most importantly, we should remember those young Americans and our Iraqi teammates who gave of themselves so that others can live in freedom.Aca,!A?
Hunzeker pointed out how Aca,!A"over the time of the divisionAca,!a,,cs deployment attacks on both coalition forces as well as sectarian strife decreased almost 70 percent. This resulted in an increase in the Iraqi peopleAca,!a,,cs confidence in the government, their Army, in the police Aca,!" and last December the people were far less concerned about security and more about essential services.Aca,!A?
The senior leader also praised Sue Hertling for her hard work and involved efforts. Aca,!A"You are truly a hero to so many. Aca,!A| Your dedication, your commitment to the 1st Armored family and to the Wiesbaden community has truly been exceptional. You brought together the command team when the Soldiers were deployed, and you along with all the 1st Armored Division spouses and families share in the divisionAca,!a,,cs success.Aca,!A?
Aca,!A"Whatever success we achieved was because of the magnificent Soldiers who wear Old Ironsides on their sleeves and their family members who wear Old Ironsides on their hearts,Aca,!A? said 1st ADAca,!a,,cs outgoing commander, thanking his family and fellow Soldiers, and describing his joy in being able to Aca,!A"wake up everyday and be a Soldier. I get to do what I love doing, and I get to be around a great group of people who amaze me with their dedication, their sacrifice and their selflessness every day.Aca,!A?
Welcoming 1st ADAca,!a,,cs new commander, Hunzeker charged him to Aca,!A"live the warrior ethos each and every day, always place the mission first, never quit and never leave a fallen comrade.Aca,!A?
Vowing to continue the division legacy and to maintain close German-American relations, Wolff said, Aca,!A"As we move forward on the path weAca,!a,,cll blaze together, thanks for your support, your commitment and your dedication.Aca,!A?
Wolff, who rejoins the 1st AD after serving on the National Security Council as a special assistant to the president and senior director for Iraq and Afghanistan, commanded the 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment for three years including taking the regiment to Iraq in 2003. He first served with 1 AD in Schwabach during an assignment as the S3 Air and C Troop commander for 1st Squadron, 1st Cavalry. He also served as the G3 for 1st AD in 1999.
The new division commander deployed to Iraq in 2006, serving as the commanding general of the Coalition Military Assistance Training Team.
Aca,!A"I stand before you as a humble Soldier and leader committed to continuing the magnificent record established by 1st AD leaders and Soldiers,Aca,!A? said Wolff. Aca,!A"IAca,!a,,cm seized with preparing the division for future challenges while caring for our great men and women.Aca,!A?
In conclusion Hunzeker asked those in attendance to remember those still serving in harmAca,!a,,cs way and who have made the ultimate sacrifice in service to their nation. Aca,!A"Let us keep in our thoughts those Soldiers still fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan and the families that remain behind,Aca,!A? Hunzeker said. Aca,!A"Let us also remember those who gave the last full measure, devotion to Old Ironsides, as well as their Gold Star families Aca,!" a grateful nation will never forget.Aca,!A?