Schuylkill, Pa. - Soldiers, families and friends gathered to say thank you and farewell to Lt. Col. Michael J. Trofinoff and his family during a change of ceremony held here Jan 6. A native of Beacon, N.Y., Trofinoff's leadership style and commitment to excellence reflected the battalion's success story during the short period he took command.

"I have had the privilege to serve with some great American warriors here at the 365th. Sergeant Ryan Long, one of our wounded warriors from the 358th Engineer Company, who in spite of recently having his foot amputated, still has the heart of a warrior, and jumped to attention when visited by the President following his amputation. I will miss serving with warriors like him," said Trofinoff, pondering on what he will miss most from his experience as commander of 'Fast and Rugged' Battalion.

Col. John R. Seeley, provisional commander of 411th Eng. Bde., provided special remarks and presented Trofinoff with a Meritorious Service Medal for exceptional service and performance.

"Over the past 14 months, Lieutenant Colonel Trofinoff and the 365th have made significant strides in Force Generation Readiness and streamlined many processes and procedures to increase soldier readiness. Under his tutelage, the battalion headquarter, with a young and less experienced staff, was able to excel and exceed all expectations at CSTX Fort McCoy last year, earning the admiration of the observer controllers and the Training Division," said Seeley.

Asked about his proudest moments as commander of 365th, Trofinoff pointed to two that he "can leave command with a tremendous amount of pride in."

At CSTX Fort McCoy, "We were the under grade, cost effective battalion. I was in an O5 position as an O4. I had captains in major positions, battalion XO and battalion S3. Our CSM was a First Sergeant. In spite of all this, we accomplished all of our misisons and were commended by the O/CTs and the CG 420th En Bde for our leadership and success, especially during two severe weather events," he said.

Secondly, "When I learned the battalion headquarters was selected over another battalion for nomination in support of a mission. That meant that our efforts to improve the readiness of the battalion had paid off and were being recognized. As a leader, we are taught to ready our forces and to get them into the fight. We had accomplished that," said Trofinoff.

Trofinoff, during his final remarks, thanked his family, the 411th leadership, Soldiers and DoD civilian employees for their trust and support. He also congratulated and welcomed Spurlock and his family to 365th and to the Schuylkill community.

The N.Y. native will move on to his next assignment with the Office of Chief of Engineers, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, where he hopes he can impact and make a difference for the Army Reserve community.

"I feel this is an example of the type of career enhancing opportunities Major General Buckler has mentioned at several conferences I have attended. One of the projects will be Reserve Support to Disaster Relief Operations (RESDRO) and how to improve getting our forces into the fight. I know a lot of the warriors within the 365th who were frustrated by our inability to get in to support Hurricane Sandy relief operations when we were the closest engineer battalion not impacted by the storm. We had developed a list of 100+ RESDRO volunteers and only one was mobilized. Now I can impact and make a difference in the event of future disasters," he said.

Trofinoff holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Polytechnic University-Brooklyn, New York, and a Masters in Environmental Science from Columbus State University, Columbus, Georgia. He is a licensed professional engineer in New York State.

His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, the Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal (OLC), Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal (4 OLC), Joint Service Achievement Medal, Army Achievement Medal (3 OLC), Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Armed Forces Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Combat Action Badge, Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Valorous Unit Award and the Navy Unit Commendation.

Trofinoff is married to the former Lori Ann Mosa from Brooklyn. They have two children, Jessica and Mark.

Page last updated Fri January 11th, 2013 at 05:55