CHANGING OF THE GUARD-100th Soldiers say farewell to Col. Bowen and welcome in Col. Hildreth
July 31, 2012
Soldiers, friends, family and civilian contractors gathered inside a hangar on Peterson Air Force Base to watch as the leadership changed hands July 19.
After serving as the commander of the 100th Missile Defense Brigade (Ground-Based Midcourse Defense) for 38 months, Col. Gregory Bowen handed the brigade colors off to Col. Edward Hildreth.
The change of command gave Bowen a chance to just say a big 'thank you' to the brigade.
"I'm going to break a little bit from tradition and simply say thank you," said Bowen. "It's not that the brigade hasn't done some remarkable things over the past 38 months -it has, but as I reviewed all our accomplishments, I came to the conclusion that I really can't take credit for any of them'.
"The only thing I did was create a command climate in which the amazing professionals of this brigade were able to thrive," finished Bowen.
He also used it as a chance to remember 2nd Lt. Christina Cornejo, who lost her life just days before the command change.
"Christina was one of those ever optimistic Soldiers who always had a smile on her face and who always went above and beyond what we asked of her. While she had only been a member on the 100th MDB family for a little over a year, she already left a mark on the unit and many of us, she will be sorely missed."
As the brigade colors were passed from the hands of Col. Bowen to the Space and Missile Defense Command's commanding general, Lt. Gen. Richard P. Formica into the hands of Col Hildreth, the unit prepares to achieve bigger and better things under its fourth commander.
"I'm proud to join this team at a point in history where we'll be able to lead the Space and Missile Defense Command through an era of unprecedented change," said Hildreth.
Hildreth comes to the brigade from the National Guard Bureau in Washington D.C., and before that had commanded the 49th Missile Defense Battalion, Alaska Army National Guard. Hildreth has earned a Bachelor's Degree in Civil Engineering and was commissioned as an Air Defense Artillery officer from the Army ROTC program at Vanderbilt University in 1988.
His other accomplishments include Graduating from War College, being selected for a Graduate Studies Fellowship and completing his Master's degree in Engineering Management at the New Jersey Institute of Technology in 2002
He has been deployed to Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm from August 1990 through April 1991. He was also sent to Afghanistan to lead the National Guard Affairs Team supporting the 82nd Airborne Division, Operation Enduring Freedom and in June 2010, he was assigned as Division Chief, Mobilization and Readiness Division at the ARNG Directorate.
Hildreth went on to talk about his commitment to the success for the unit.
"My commitment to you today, my watchwords: people, readiness, family-these will be priorities and a benchmark for success for this brigade," added Hildreth.
This command change marks the second time that Hildreth has taken over for Bowen. When Bowen left command of the 49th MDB, Hildreth was the one that took over as commander.