402nd AFSB welcomes new commander, CSM in Kuwait
August 10, 2012
CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait -- The 402nd Army Field Support Brigade conducted a combined change of command/change of responsibility ceremony July 16 at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait.
Col. John Laskodi relinquished command to Col. John Kuenzli, who arrived from the NATO Defense College in Rome, where he completed his Senior Service College requirements.
Command Sgt. Maj. Robert Canterbury relinquished responsibility to Command Sgt. Maj. Nathaniel J. Bartee Sr., who arrived from the 15th Sustainment Brigade, Fort Bliss, Texas, where he served as its command sergeant major.
Laskodi now moves on to his next assignment as the deputy chief of staff, Army Materiel Command at Redstone Arsenal, Ala. Canterbury returns to Hawaii on assignment to the G-3 (Operations), 45 Corps Support Group, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.
Maj. Gen. Patricia E. McQuistion, commanding general of the Army Sustainment Command at Rock Island Arsenal, Ill., served as the presiding officer of the ceremony. McQuistion has since been promoted to rank of lieutenant general and is now the deputy commanding general of ASC's higher headquarters, Army Materiel Command.
"What a great Army day here in Kuwait," said McQuistion as she began her remarks.
McQuistion has since been promoted to rank of lieutenant general and is now the deputy commanding general of ASC's higher headquarters, Army Materiel Command.
Accompanying her was Command Sgt. Maj. James E. Spencer, ASC. Distinguished guests were Brig. Gen. Karen LeDoux and Rear Adm. Jonathan Yuen with the U.S. Army Central Command.
The ceremony was uncommon because it jointly conducted the changing of the brigade commander and command sergeant major. The change of command ceremony re-emphasizes the continuity of the command's authority to its Soldiers, while the change of responsibility ceremony represented the strength of the noncommissioned officer support chain.
The four 402nd AFSB's battalions -- Qatar Battalion, Kuwait Battalion, Southwest Asia Battalion and 541st Combat Sustainment Support Battalion -- were represented by the presence of their commanders, senior enlisted advisers and battalion colors.
McQuistion highlighted the myriad of accomplishments by Laskodi and Canterbury and the pivotal role their leadership played in record of achievements the brigade compiled the past year.
The accomplishments that included providing direct support to the forces in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn, and serving as the central command and control team on the ground for the responsible drawdown of U.S. forces and equipment from Iraq.
McQuistion challenged the new leadership -- Kuenzli and Bartee -- to continue moving the "Power Team" forward in the coming year.
The narrator for the ceremony, Maj. Jason Christenson, executive officer, 541st Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, reminded attendees of the history and tradition associated with the change of command ceremony and its importance to the unit. Today's ceremonies render honors, preserve traditions and foster esprit-de-corps, with ties dating back to medieval times.
A unit's colors historically have marked the position of the commander on the battlefield and served as a rallying point for Soldiers. In modern times, the colors represent not only the heritage and history of the unit, but the unity and loyalty of its Soldiers. They also stand as a silent reminder of past glories and traditions, stand guardian over its present destiny while instilling inspiration for future endeavors.