'Rough Rider' Soldiers welcome new commander
March 15, 2011
CONTINGENCY OPERATING SITE MAREZ, Iraq-In a battalion motor pool at COS Marez, eight company guidons waved in the morning air, as Soldiers stood in formation and the unit prepared to begin another chapter in its' prestigious history.
"Rough Rider" Soldiers assigned to 27th Brigade Support Battalion, 4th Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, welcomed their new battalion commander during a Change of Command ceremony, March 7.
Lt. Col. Elward Cortez, formerly an exchange officer and joint support planner at Canada's Operational Support Command, assumed command from Lt. Col. William Galbraith, who is now being assigned to the 1st Cav. Div. Headquarters as the logistics officer.
"Welcome to Lt. Col. Cortez, a combat-proven leader whose reputation precedes him," said Col. Brian Winski, brigade commander, 4th AAB, 1st Cav. Div. "He will bring new ideas, perspective and will bring this great battalion to even higher levels of excellence," said the native of Milwaukee.
Leaders of the "Long Knife" Brigade showed their support as the outgoing commander made his final remarks-closing this chapter with the Rough Riders and starting a new one at the division headquarters.
"Sir, thank you for your mentorship, your guidance and at times tough love," said Galbraith, as he addressed Winski during his speech.
Galbraith, a native of Poughkeepsie, N.Y., told Winski, "You have taught me a great deal on the art of command and leadership, and I am a better officer for this."
Galbraith will head back to Fort Hood, Texas, to prepare to deploy again with the 1st Cavalry Division to Afghanistan this summer.
Cortez has the responsibility of overseeing the 27th BSB as it provides support to other units in the Long Knife Brigade and to Iraqi Security Forces counterparts during Operation New Dawn.
"Col. Winski, thank you for the opportunity to command the best brigade support battalion in the Army," said Cortez, a native of New Orleans. "Rest assured the Rough Riders will continue to deliver world class logistical support. It is my honor to take reins of the Rough Rider team."
Now half way through their deployment, Rough Rider Soldiers continue to advise, train and assist their Iraqi counterparts while providing support throughout the brigade's area of responsibility, including logistical patrols and facilitating base transfers and closures.