By Sgt. 1st Class Stephanie Widemond, 188th Combined Arms Training Brigade Public AffairsJuly 18, 2017
FORT STEWART, Ga. -- Col. Matthew H. Fath, outgoing 188th Combined Arms Training Brigade commander, passed the colors to the reviewing officer for the last time and bid farewell to the unit he helped navigate through the Bold Shift transition during a change of command ceremony here July 14.
The Bold Shift initiative transformed how First Army manages pre-mobilization training and readiness of Army National Guard and Reserve units. It called for nearly a complete restructuring of personnel with a broader range of specific technical expertise. Before Bold Shift, 188th had mostly infantry and field artillery assets, with combat service support battalions making up its Reserve units. Now the brigade includes military police, air defense artillery and engineer assets.
Fath took command of the brigade at the height of Operation Bold Shift, said Maj. Gen. Todd B. McCaffrey, First Army Division East commanding general.
"[He] built this brigade from nearly the ground up. He is without question the best trainer in Division East, and his personal efforts have left an indelibly positive mark on each and every one of his reserve-component partners."
Fath will serve as the operations officer for Joint Task Force North at Fort Bliss, Texas. Before signing off, he offered the brigade three pieces of advice.
"Never forget where you came from, why you joined, and always rise and fight again," he said, noting that even though perseverance is not an Army Value, it should be.
Replacing Fath is Col. Steven N. Cho, an armor officer who came to the brigade from the 4th Infantry Division, where he served as the division operations officer.
"It is pretty clear that this brigade is getting a warrior-scholar-trainer who is imminently ready to committing himself to the further advancement of this brigade," McCaffrey said.
Cho began receiving, in May, in-briefs about the 188th's functions and its mission to support Total Army Force Policy.
"The Soldiers standing before you truly represent the total Army force, with a headquarters company and eleven battalions - six active duty battalions and five reserve battalions - charged with ensuring the combat readiness of National Guard and Reserve units in nine states," Cho said.
Cho joined the Army in 1995 and has held a wide variety of command, staff and instructional positions. He has served on two deployments in Bosnia, two in Iraq, and one in Afghanistan. He holds a Master of Science degree in Astrophysics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and has completed a National Security Fellowship to Harvard University for the U.S. Army War College.