Arrowhead Brigade bids farewell, welcomes new commander
March 27, 2013
JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. - The 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, held its change of command and change of responsibility at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., March 8.
Col. Charles R. Webster, of Jackson, Miss., who commanded the 3rd SBCT, 2nd ID for more than two years, to include a yearlong deployment to Afghanistan, relinquished command to Col. Hugh D. Bair, from Virginia, on Watkins Field.
Webster led the brigade to Afghanistan in December 2011, where his soldiers focused on the destruction and disruption of insurgent activity throughout southern Afghanistan.
During his address, Webster commented on how he had dreaded this day - the day he would have to relinquish command of the "Arrowhead" Brigade after 30 months commanding men and women of the Army's first Stryker brigade.
"But what an adventure - not only the 30 months, but also the last 30 years," he said.
Webster was especially reminiscent throughout his speech, but with good reason. After 30 years in the Army - 26 of which he spent serving on active duty - Webster announced he was retiring.
"Today not only marks my last formation as Arrowhead Six, but today also marks my last formation as an active member of the Army," said Webster.
Webster went onto thank those who helped him succeed in his career and lauded his team for a job well done, especially for their work in Afghanistan.
"To the soldiers, (noncommissioned officers) and officers of the Arrowhead Brigade - thank you all for standing up and facing the enemies of our country and stating with your actions, 'Not on my watch,'" said Webster.
Webster had a message specifically for his Arrowhead soldiers before he ended his remarks.
"The three most important titles I've worked to gain over the last 30 years are husband, dad and commander. I'll never give up the first two, but it has been one of the greatest honors of my life to hold the third as your commander," Webster said.
Bair comes to the 3rd SBCT, 2nd ID, directly from the Army's Warrior Transition Command, in Alexandria, Va., where he worked as the operations officer in charge. During his time at the podium, Bair extolled the men and women on the field and stated how humbled he felt to join "such a magnificent organization."
"Your stellar reputation is well-earned, your many successes well-known, and your story is well-told throughout the Army," said Bair.
The brigade command sergeants major also changed responsibility as Command Sgt. Maj. Samuel G. Murphy relinquished responsibility to Command Sgt. Maj. Peter L. Smith, who was previously the battalion command sergeant major for 2nd Battalion, 3rd Infantry Regiment, 3rd SBCT, 2nd ID.