196th Infantry Brigade change of command
July 13, 2012
- You all look magnificent -- today just like everything the 196th does is precise and professional.
- Training Soldiers is what they do and they do it well.
FORT SHAFTER, Hawaii - Col. Michael J. Forsyth took command of the 196th Infantry Brigade July 11 from Col. Jack K. Pritchard at historic Palm Circle, Fort Shafter.
Commanding General, U.S. Army, Pacific, Lt. Gen. Francis J. Wiercinski hosted the change of command ceremony.
"You all look magnificent -- today just like everything the 196th does is precise and professional," said Wiercinski as he addressed the brigade's formation. He also commended the 100th Army band from Fort Knox, Ky. The band is in Hawaii for annual training.
"I am proud of all of you have done and all you continue to accomplish. You are small but extremely powerful and extremely important to the entire Asia Pacific Theater. I can't tell you how many Soldiers these great professionals standing in front have touched; more importantly prepared for combat operations," said Wiercinski.
"It is great to have the 100th Army Band here from Fort Knox, Kentucky for annual training. You sound great and you look great," said Wiercinski.
Pritchard's efforts to strengthen bonds with the Nation Guard and Army Reserve units throughout the Pacific have been exceptional, said Wiercinski.
"Jack [Pritchard] will be the next U.S. Army, Pacific, chief of staff. He is the right man leader for the job and the right man I need at the headquarters. We are going to harness that experience and talent for the betterment of this entire organization," said Wiercinski.
"My first group of heroes are represented by the Soldiers on the field before you," said Pritchard. They represent the best training support brigade in the United States Army. Their efforts to provide world class training to our Reserve components across the Pacific has been amazing. Training Soldiers is what they do and they do it well.
We have never served together but his reputation precedes him [Forsyth]. He is uniquely skilled to lead this complex and distributed organization, said Wiercinski.
Forsyth was commissioned into the field artillery in 1988. He has served in various positions of leadership in the field artillery from battalion and brigade fire support officer to platoon leader, battery and battalion commander.
Forsyth has four combat deployments between Operation Desert Storm and Operation Enduring Freedom. This includes commander, 2nd Battalion, 77th Field Artillery during Operation Enduring Freedom, said Wiercinski.
"It is my distinct honor to assume command of the Charger Brigade. This brigade has the reputation for reliability, high standards and mission accomplishment in all endeavors. The brigade earned that reputation through examples of fine leadership from NCO's and officers in planning, preparing and execution," said Forsyth.
The 196th Infantry Brigade trains and validates all U.S. Army, Pacific assigned Army National Guard and US Army Reserve forces in accordance with FORSCOM and USARPAC training guidance in order to ensure units are fully prepared to deploy in support of overseas contingency operations and other operations as directed.