Ironhorse Brigade command team hands over the reins of leadership
April 29, 2008
Add Text HereFORT HOOD, Texas - The 1st "Ironhorse" Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division commander, the brigade's six battalion commanders, and two of the brigade's command sergeants major handed over the reins of leadership in a change of command ceremony held on the division's parade field April 25. Col. Tobin L. Green, a native of Sioux Falls S.D., relieved Col. Paul E. Funk II, who hails from Roundup, Mont., as brigade commander. Funk, who assumed command of the Ironhorse Brigade in July 2005, will take over as chief of staff at III Corps. During his tenure as brigade commander, he led his troops in a 15-month deployment to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom 06-08. During that deployment, the Ironhorse Brigade took over one of the largest and most populated areas in Multi-National Division- Baghdad. In their area of operations, while first focusing mainly on combat operations in the initial months of the deployment, the brigade's Soldiers played a part in providing a safe, stable and secure environment for the Iraqis which allowed Sunni and Shia tribal leaders the chance to reconcile their issues, Funk said. The Ironhorse Brigade's continued missions also led to the expansion and growth of the Iraqi Security Forces, local Iraqi government and infrastructure improvement followed by flourishing economic and cultural growth, said Funk. During the ceremony, Funk commended his troops and the other commanders for their service. "Troopers, it is difficult for me to express how tremendously proud I am of you and the great work you have done for your nation," he said. "It is a debt of service that will never be repaid to you. I leave here today knowing that this fine group of men and women made a difference, for the people of Iraq and the security of our country." In the same change of command ceremony, each of the Ironhorse battalions changed leadership. The traditional passing of the guidon, or unit flag, was done by each of the outgoing battalion commanders to the new incoming battalion commanders. Each of the battalion commanders in the order in which they changed command included: Lt. Col. Kevin S. MacWatters, 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry Division, relinquished command to Lt. Col. Charles D. Costanza. Col. Kurt J. Pinkerton, 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Division, relinquished command to Lt. Col. Timothy M. Karcher. Lt. Col. Scott L. Efflandt, 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Division relinquished command to Lt. Col. Mark E. Solomons. Lt. Col. Martin C. Clausen, 1st Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, relinquished command to Lt. Col. Eric E. Schwegler. Lt. Col Michael A. Dillard, 1st Brigade Special Troops Battalion, relinquished command to Lt. Col. Maria T. Zumwalt. Lt. Col. Tyler C. Osenbaugh, 115th Brigade Support Battalion, relinquished command to Lt. Col. Gregory R. Holmes. Huntsville, Ala., native Command Sgt. Maj. Stanley D. Small, the outgoing command sergeant major for the brigade, also relinquished his responsibilities to Compton, Calif., native and incoming Command Sgt. Maj. James Norman. Smalls is retiring after more than 30 years of service to the Army. Lastly, Command Sgt. Maj. Michael E. Giles, outgoing command sergeant major of the 1st Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, relinquished his responsibilities to Command Sgt. Maj. Steven E. Brown. Once all the guidons had been passed, Funk welcomed Green, the battalion commanders and the incoming command sergeants major to the Ironhorse Brigade and offered his continued support of the Ironhorse family. Green then took the podium and addressed the brigade. "To the leaders and troopers of the Ironhorse Brigade Combat Team, I am very familiar with your service and your impressive record in combat during OIF 06-08,"said Green. "Beloved troopers and leaders, literally legends at every level in the command, will depart the formation - and they will be missed," added Green. "But new folks will arrive, with a wealth of experience and enthusiasm, with new ideas in some cases, and they will be great, and their teams will write a new chapter in the Ironhorse lineage and honors just as exciting and important as the last." Green's two decades of service began with his graduation from the United States Military Academy in 1984. He deployed in support of Operation Desert Storm with the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment while still in company command. Some of his many other roles have included serving as a battalion executive officer, a brigade operations officer, and squadron commander. In June 2006, Green joined the 1st Cavalry Division as the operations officer and served in that role throughout OIF 06-08. Green spoke for himself and that of his battalion commanders in stating their desire to get to the job. "We are ready, eager to join you, and look forward to the future." After the ceremony, a reception was held in honor of the incoming brigade commander and the battalion commanders.