The 194th Armored Brigade changes command
July 6, 2011
FORT BENNING GA - Col. David Thompson relinquished command to Col. Kevin MacWatters as the commander of the 194th Armored Brigade Wednesday during a change of command ceremony at Brave Rifles Field.
“This brigade is the only one in the Army that trains initial entry training Soldiers for the Armor Branch,” said Maj. Gen. Robert Brown, Fort Benning’s commanding general and reviewing officer. “Every tank crewman, Cavalry Scout and tank and Bradley mechanic comes through this brigade " so, the leadership has to excel beyond excellence.”
Brown said MacWatters’ team-building skills will be valuable as the Armor and Infantry training continues to align at Fort Benning.
“Kevin is coming to us from the War College, previously he was with the 1-7 Cavalry from the 1st Cavalry Division,” Brown said. “Kevin is a 24-year-proven combat leader, who enjoys the challenges of serving and leading in today’s Army; relishing working alongside people united in shared values and dedication to selfless service.”
MacWatters thanked the Thompsons for their help during his transition as the commander.
“Years of effort by the great leaders here and at Fort Knox and elsewhere, have made this possible,” MacWatters said. “We look forward to completing this move and getting on with training the finest Armor Cavalry and heavy mechanic Soldiers in the Army. I’m extremely proud to be joining this great team as commander and pledge all of my efforts to the continued excellence of the brigade.”
Brown recalled driving by the new Ranger Joe’s billboard on I-185 that read, “Go Big, Go Armor.”
“I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt Armor is here " Armor is welcomed " and Armor is home,” Brown said. “And, all of that happened under Dave’s leadership of the 194th.”
Brown lauded Thompson as a leader who inspires leaders to take initiative, do the right thing and make empowered decisions.
“He has impeccable judgment and he is respected by the Soldiers, and civilians of the (brigade),” he said. “He sought to develop a team in the 194th that centers its focus on training Soldiers " training thousands each year, the 19 Delta and 19 Kilo, as well as tank and Bradley maintainers " to ensure they are prepared to join the force across the Army and win the fight.”
Thompson said, for him, the past two years have been a whirlwind experience. But more importantly was the Armor’s move to Fort Benning.
“Although today is a brigade change of command, it occurs in the mist of something much more important " the combination of the two most potent branches of our service " Armored Cavalry and Infantry in one place, here at Fort Benning,” Thompson said.
Thompson is retiring from military service.