FORT HOOD, Texas -- Soldiers lined up in rows and columns behind their commanders and first sergeants, all of the batteries' and companies' guidons proudly waving in the wind Aug. 31 on Cooper Field at Fort Hood, Texas.
In front of the 1st Cavalry Division headquarters, Col. Patrick Gaydon took command of the 41st Field Artillery Brigade.
"What an honor it is to join the Rail Gunner team you see before you today," said Gaydon. "The 41st Field Artillery Brigade has a long legacy from its coastal artillery days of World War I to the battle fields of Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan, and most recently [a deployment to] Kuwait and Jordan. It's truly my privilege to be a part of this legacy."
Gaydon, a native of Muncy, Pennsylvania, graduated from the U.S. Army War College at Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania, with a master's degree in Strategic Studies this past June. Before graduating from the U.S. Army War College, Gaydon was the Chief of Fires at 1st Armored Division, El Paso, Texas.
"I also look forward to the transition to the 1st Cav. DIVARTY over the next 12 to 18 months," said Gaydon.
While Gaydon is in command, he will oversee the many changes slated for the 41st FA Bde. During the next year, the brigade will transition into the 1st Cavalry Division Artillery, taking up responsibility for all of the artillery assets within the division.
As for McRae, a native of Shaker Heights, Ohio, he will be leaving Fort Hood to take up his new role as the liaison officer for U.S. North Command and North American Aerospace Defense Command to The Federal Emergency Management Agency in Washington, D.C.
During the nearly three years McRae has been in command, the brigade has sent units through a number of rotations to the National Training Center, Fort Irwin, Calif., deployed two batteries to Afghanistan, and deployed an element of Headquarters and Headquarters Battery to Kuwait and Jordan.