By Tim Cherry, Belvoir Eagle staff writerApril 29, 2013
FORT Belvoir, Va (April 29) -- Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, Warrior Transition Brigade welcomed a new leader Friday during the unit's first change of command ceremony.
Capt. Chris Ogden assumed command from Capt. Mandolyn Davila in front of Soldiers and Families at the Warrior Transition Battalion Complex.
The company lost a great leader in Davila but they expect Ogden to build on Davila's success, according to Lt. Col. Carl Curriera, Warrior Transition Battalion commander.
"This is a new beginning," Curriera said. "It's a new beginning for Capt. Chris Ogden to plan the new way ahead for the unit."
The WTB provides care for Wounded Soldier's recovery from injuries and illnesses developed in the line of duty. The unit's cadre, Department of Defense civilians and contractors help Soldiers heal and transition back into active duty or to civilian life. HHC leadership is part of the care team helping Soldiers heal. The company's current policies and procedures remain in effect until further notice, according to Ogden.
Ogden graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Management from the United States Military Academy at West Point. His military awards and decorations include the Army Commendation Medal with three Oak leaf Clovers, the National Defense Service Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal. Ogden said he is thankful for the opportunity to command the WTB's HHC.
A big goal for Ogden is to help instill passion into Soldiers as they heal.
"That's part of the mission here at WTU," Ogden said. "You got to have passion for these Soldiers and help them transition back into the Army or back into the civilian world."
To assist in achieving this goal, Ogden wants incoming Soldiers to understand the process involved with transitioning the "right way." The process Ogden is referring to is the required in-processing for Soldiers new to the unit. The WTB HHC will assist new members through in-processing and once this is complete Soldiers can move on to receive treatment and healing, Ogden said.
He called the 1st Bn., WTB, one of the best places to provide care for Soldiers and he's excited to assume command.
"This will be very rewarding," Curriera said of Ogden's upcoming time as commander. "You don't realize it until the day you give up command but you'll be a better Soldier."
During his remarks, Ogden thanked Davila for helping him prepare for the command position.
Davila enlisted in the Army as a combat medic in 2000 and was commissioned through the Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning, Ga., in 2004. Her military awards and decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, the Joint Service Commendation Medal and the Humanitarian Service Medal. Davila commanded HHC, 1st Bn., WTB, for 2 years and three months.
Curriera applauded Davila for handling diverse and unique situations involving Soldiers' healing and transition. Davila's passion for Soldier care helped the unit complete its mission, Curriera said.
"She is a legend, she is one of a kind," Curriera said. "She cared about each and every one of the Soldiers and the cadre."
During her remarks, Davila expressed appreciation to Curriera, previous WTB commanders, and her unit for helping her during her command. She also expressed appreciation to her Family for providing support.
"I will miss this job. The unpredictable, fast-paced constant fluid shift of the mission … no day was like the one before," said a teary eyed Davila during her remarks. "My best wishes will always be with this unit and with each Soldier … remain strong and fierce."
Davila believes Ogden is ready to assume command.
"I can't imagine turning this command over to anyone else," Davila said.
Tim Cherry, Belvoir Eagle staff writer