JSA Security Battalion holds change of command
(From the left) Lt. Col. John E. Rhodes, Lt. Gen. Joseph F. Fil, Jr., and Lt. Col. Edward J. Taylor salute the colors during the United Nations Command Security Battalion-Joint Security Area change of command ceremony June 8.

CAMP BONIFAS, Panmunjom, South Korea - The combined Republic of Korea-U.S. Army battalion that maintains security inside the Joint Security Area held a change of command ceremony here June 8.

Outgoing United Nations Command Security Battalion-Joint Security Area Commander Lt. Col. John E. Rhodes passed the battalion colors to Lt. Col. Edward J. Taylor during the ceremony on the Camp Bonifas Parade Field.

Eighth Army Commanding General Lt. Gen. Joseph F. Fil, Jr., who served as the reviewing officer, thanked Rhodes and welcomed Taylor to the most forward deployed battalion in South Korea.

"During Skip Rhodes' time in command, this battalion has deterred aggression in the JSA, strengthened our alliance and enabled countless visitors ... from senior government officials to Korean War veterans ... to visit freedom's frontier," said Fil, who is also the Chief of Staff for United Nations Command, Combined Forces Command and U.S. Forces Korea.

Rhodes thanked the many ROK and U.S. civilian and military dignitaries in attendance and thanked his ROK and U.S. Soldiers for their service.

"You are the reason why this battalion has been so successful and why our alliance is so great," said Rhodes.

Rhodes will report to the 1st Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, at Fort Riley, Kan., and then deploy to Iraq as an Advise and Assist team chief.

A combat veteran who has served in Ramadi and Baghdad, Taylor comes to the battalion after serving as the executive officer for the deputy commander for operations at Combined Forces Command and U.S. Forces Korea.

Taylor said he welcomed the opportunity to command this security battalion that serves just south of the world's most heavily armed border.

"I'm now the newest member of this battalion," said Taylor, adding that he was impressed with the camaraderie between the ROK and U.S. Soldiers serving together in the Korean Demilitarized Zone. "That is the way this battalion lives and works, all for one and one for all ... the embodiment of the ROK-U.S. Alliance."

Page last updated Tue June 8th, 2010 at 07:27