JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska - Army Col. Jason J. Jones assumed command of the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division from the outgoing commander, Col. Jeffrey S. Crapo, during an assumption of command ceremony August 17, 2017 at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska.
The event was attended by many dignitaries and Family members from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson including U.S. Army Alaska commander Maj. Gen. Mark O'Neil.
After greeting the many distinguished attendees, O'Neil described the conditions in which Crapo took control of the brigade.
"Thirteen weeks ago, Team Crapo stepped into the breach to lead the brigade as they were carrying out final preparations for the combat training exercise and the upcoming deployment to Afghanistan," O'Neil said. "The brigade remains on an aggressive timeline thanks to Jeff's steady hand and leadership."
O'Neil praised Crapo for quickly transitioning from his position as U.S. Army Alaska Operations Officer when he assumed command of the brigade during final preparation for a month-long training rotation at Joint Readiness Training Center in Fort Polk, Louisiana. The decision was made for Crapo to take charge of the brigade after the then new commander, Col. Paul Larson, was injured during an airborne operation. Crapo was a logical fit, having served multiple leadership roles in 4/25, including that of deputy commander.
O'Neil said the paratroopers looked great as they stood in formation for the ceremony. He also took a moment to thank the U.S. Army Alaska Band for their continued performances and professionalism over the years.
When Crapo's turn came to speak he was full of thanks. He thanked all of the leaders in the 4/25, from top to bottom.
"Spartans, you amaze me each and every day," Crapo said. "Rest assured that these men and women are ready today, tonight, any time to fight and win on any battlefield. It has been an absolute honor to serve with you and I wish you all godspeed as you continue to do the heavy lifting in the defense of this nation."
Lastly, Crapo thanked his wife, Tracy and their son and two daughters for their lifelong commitment and continued support.
Crapo gave Col. Jones and his wife Stacy his best wishes as he stepped away and relinquished command of the brigade.
Crapo will be moving back to U.S. Army Alaska to reclaim his role as operations officer in charge.
Jones thanked Crapo and his wife for their help during the Jones' move and transition into the brigade and Alaska.
Jones went on to thank many members of the Armed Services, his parents, his wife Stacy, and his three children for their support throughout his career.
Jones took a moment to address the 4/25 challenges and triumphs this year.
"Paratroopers are a unique breed," Jones said. "They are known for accomplishing the toughest missions in the harshest environments with little or no information, time or assets. This is exactly what the Spartan brigade has done over the last 8 months. They've gone from being told they're being inactivated to being told, not only are they not going to be inactivated, but they're deploying to Afghanistan. Like all paratroopers, they met this challenge without hesitation. They immediately reorganized, executed multiple home-station training events, a last minute decisive action JRTC rotation and are now postured to deploy. Through it all, they remained motivated, positive, and will undoubtedly achieve success in Afghanistan and here at home station."
Clearly motivated by the formation he was now in command of, Jones continued.
"Spartans, I've found in my travels around the United States that many Americans like to just read about history," Jones said. "Others like to watch it go by. You, the Spartans, are the chosen few that are making history. I'm truly honored and humbled to have the opportunity to serve alongside you as Spartan Six. I look forward to working with each and every one of you and continuing to build on past traditions, overcome future challenges, and write the next chapter in the history of this exceptional brigade."
From here, the brigade will continue to focus its attention on deploying in support of NATO operations in Afghanistan, training as the only Arctic airborne brigade in the army, and fulfilling its mission as the only airborne brigade in the Pacific Theater.