Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va. (June 19, 2015) -- Army Col. Stephen Riley assumed command of the 597th Transportation Brigade in a ceremony at Fort Eustis June 19.
The command was officially handed over as outgoing commander, Col. Jason Vick, transferred the unit colors to Riley before a crowd of assembled Soldiers, DoD Civilians, dignitaries and invited guests.
"To the 597th Soldiers, you look fantastic. Thank you for all you do every day in service to our great nation. You are the finest example of Army Warriors and sustainers I've ever served with," said Vick. "Command truly has been a humbling honor and a privilege for me. It's been an inspiring and moving time. Now I will move onto new objectives. I will take with me many memories to savor. They will forever remain a part of me and of who I am. I hope too in my heart that I have left a legacy here that will remain."
Riley, a native of Alexandria, Va., has an extensive education and background in logistics and transportation. He has three master's degrees - a Master of Science in Logistics Management from the Air Force Institute of Technology, a Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College, and a Master of Strategic Studies from the Army War College.
"Twenty years ago this year, I served my first assignment with the Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command where I had the pleasure to work with professional, hardworking Service Members, Department of the Army Civilians and contractors, working in harmony to accomplish difficult deployment and distribution missions," Riley said. It is clearly evident today that the caliber of people hasn't changed and I am thrilled to rejoin the SDDC team, especially the true professionals of the 597th Transportation Brigade."
Maj. Gen. Susan Davidson, SDDC commander, addressed the crowd and spoke of Vick's accomplishments as commander and of her confidence in the new incoming commander.
"Under Col. Vick's command, the Brigade deployed Soldiers to both Liberia and Senegal in support of Operation Unified Assistance," said Davidson. "He led the effort to analyze SDDC's posturing of forces throughout the continental U.S. based Army and he provided the vision and concept to rebalance SDDC brigade areas of responsibility to better support the DoD's interests in the Pacific."
"I am confident that Col. Riley is more than ready to take on the challenges that lie ahead -- he is the perfect officer to step in at this point in time as the 597th Trans. Bde. commander," Davidson told the crowd. "Through experience, he understands the importance of supporting the Warfighter and he is no stranger to SDDC either. Col. Riley has the right mix of leadership skills, know-how and experience to face the challenges that lie before him."
Col. Vick will now move on to Washington D.C. where he is assigned as a fellow on the Chief of Staff of the Army's Strategic Studies Group -- a pentagon think-tank.