189th changes command, cases colors
July 25, 2011
FORT BRAGG, N.C. -- The 189th Infantry Brigade welcomed a new commander July 20 in a ceremony that also marked the end of the unit’s 14-year sojourn at Fort Bragg.
Col. Stephen Quinn passed the colors to Col. John Marr, who will command the 189th at its new home at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., where it will continue its training mission under First Army Division West.
The ceremony was presided over by Maj. Gen. Kevin R. Wendel, commanding general of First Army Division East, the 189th’s higher headquarters until the unit’s transfer is finalized Aug. 15.
“Steve Quinn and his team led the way and set a high bar for joint and interagency training to meet the needs of combatant commanders. His leadership, drive, and persistence provided training methodology that now is a blueprint for others to follow,” said Wendel.
The 189th has most notably been responsible for training Provincial Reconstruction Teams, which are instrumental in bringing stability to Afghanistan. Since 2006, the brigade trained 51 PRTs and more than 15,000 service members, according to Wendel.
“This brigade has faced and admirably met innumerable challenges over the past two and a half years … None of those successes would have been possible without the clear thinking, dedication and compassion of a first-class leader. Steve, well done!” said Marr.
Marr’s message to his new unit was an always-welcome reality check.
“Remember that we are in the business of preparing for war. Behind every training event, task or detail lays the undeniable truth that our Army’s purpose is to find, close with, and destroy the enemies of our nation,” he said.
The unit’s track record and professionalism has impressed Marr from the start, and the newly-minted commander is confident that the unit will continue its legacy of excellence at its new home.
“Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they’ll make a difference. The Soldiers and leaders of the 189th Infantry Brigade don’t have that problem.”