Change of Command Brings About Role Reversal for Commanding Couple
April 10, 2007
FORWARD OPERATING BASE PROSPERITY, Iraq - The saying is that behind every great man is a great woman.
That saying was proven true during the change of command ceremony for Company C, 15th Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division here April 1.
Capt. Ken S. Murray, of Baton Rouge, La., handed over the reigns of Co. C to his wife, Capt. Teresa D. Murray of West Palm Beach, Fla., in front of the Troop Medical Clinic the company recently built.
With this change of command, Ken and Teresa have reversed their roles. Ken is moving up to the brigade as its Brigade Medical planner, Teresa's previous position.
"I can think of no better person to leave this family with than my own family," Ken said. "She's a beautiful person, a tremendous officer, and in my eyes ... perfect.'
'It's happenstance that my wife has followed me here because they are putting the best qualified, Medical Service Corps officer to take command of Charlie Company.'"
For Teresa, she is really excited about taking command.
Ken started his command in Nov. 20, 2005. Lt. Col. Jeffrey Vieira, the 15th BSB's commander, noted that during Ken's time as a commander, he took a unit, well below full strength with a lot of old and obsolete equipment, and completely turned it around.
"Ken accomplished this feat through one of the most demanding training programs I've ever seen," Vieira told the attendants. "This company stayed in the field more than any other company in the battalion. Following the completion of home-station training, we deployed to NTC (National Training Center) where Trauma was consistently labeled the best - whether it was medic skills, MASCAL (mass casualty) planning and execution, triage and on and on. Charlie Company continued to train right till the day we stepped on the plane to Kuwait."
Vieira told Ken that he and his first sergeant, 1st Sgt. Anthony Pena, that they were the best company trainers he's ever seen.
"Thanks for the hard work and dedication to me and the Gamblers over the last 17 months, and really, to the Black Jack Brigade," he added.
Vieira said Teresa comes into command with a great reputation from her work in the Brigade Surgeon's Cell.
"I'm completely confident in your abilities to build upon the successes of Trauma, and I look forward to seeing it," he told her.
For Teresa, taking command is a "great opportunity." "It's a lot of responsibility, but it's a way for me to take care of Soldiers, make a difference in their lives, and it's a pretty exciting thing," she said. "He's done a great job with this unit so far."
Ken said he believes she'll do well because she comes into the command already knowing almost all the Soldiers and due to her "different" leadership style.
"She and I both have two completely different styles of leadership, and she's more capable than I am anyway," he said. "I think I'll probably be asking how she did things and why she made that decision and adding it on to my own kitbag."
Teresa said although she usually takes a "softer" approach in leading Soldiers, that she still expects standards to be met and that others describe her as meticulous.
"My leadership style is a little bit more quiet ... is a way to put it," she said with a smile to her husband.
Ken, who also has been described as meticulous, said being with the family had with Co. C made him a better person.
"I'm proud of having been a part of it and better for knowing them," he said of his unit. "Their successes have been my successes, and their shortcomings my failings. I doubt that I'll ever be accused from anyone in that formation of being overly sensitive, but my love for the people standing before you has grown since the day I took command and will continue to grow as I support my wife as she supported me."