By Spc. Paige Behringer, 1st BCT Public Affairs, 1st Cav. Div. April 7, 2014
FORT HOOD, Texas --The sound of cannons firing and horses galloping could be heard across Cooper Field as the 1st "Ironhorse" Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division said farewell to its leader and welcomed two new leaders to the Ironhorse family April 7 here.
Col. Steve Gilland, a native of Rock Island, Ill., and the outgoing Ironhorse commander, relinquished command to Col. John DiGiambattista, an Anaheim, Calif., native and the incoming brigade commander during a change of command ceremony.
Brig. Gen. Michael Bills, commander of the 1st Cavalry Division, was the host and presiding officer, who also welcomed a new senior noncommissioned officer to the Ironhorse family: Command Sgt. Maj. Joseph Cornelison, a native of Tunnel Hill, Ga.
Gilland took command of Ironhorse in July 2012. He now hands the reins over to DiGiambattista following several training exercises in Europe and a rotation to the National Training Center in Fort Irwin, Calif.
"Colonel Steve Gilland's accomplishments in the last two years are immeasurable," Bills said. "His focus has been on tackling every assigned mission and achieving outstanding results … when he first took the brigade's colors, the Soldiers of Ironhorse had just returned from a deployment to Iraq and Kuwait … Steve and Betsy Gilland wasted no time in building a great team here at Fort Hood."
Bills said DiGiambattista is taking command of Ironhorse at an important time. This year, the brigade will head to Europe for exercises related to Ironhorse's regional alignment.
"We are fortunate to have (DiGiambattista) as he comes from the Pentagon," Bills said. "He comes to us with a wealth of experience as an infantry officer with three deployments to Iraq … I can't think of a more qualified and capable officer to take command of an outstanding team as (DiGiambattista)."
"I know I have arrived at a great organization, and I can see it with my own eyes," DiGiambattista said.