By Fort Sill Tribune staffMay 31, 2018
FORT SILL, Okla. (May 31, 2018) -- The 31st Air Defense Artillery Brigade welcomed a new commander during a change of command ceremony May 23, at Lucas Polo Field here.
The ceremony also featured a casing of the brigade colors as its Headquarters and Headquarters Battery Soldiers were set to deploy three days later to the Middle East.
Col. Lisa Bartel, most recently the deputy director of the Army Chief of Staff Coordination Group at the Pentagon, took the reins from Col. Janice Chen.
Officiating the ceremony was Brig. Gen. Christopher Spillman, 32nd Air and Missile Defense commanding general, who welcomed Bartel, and praised Chen's numerous accomplishments.
"Colonel Lisa Bartel comes to us with a superb reputation as a competent, committed, caring leader," Spillman said. "The Army gets it right when it comes to selecting brigade commanders.
"Lisa, I have no doubt that you will carry on the legacy of excellence and mission focus of this brigade, and lead the command forward to even greater heights of readiness and mission effectiveness, both downrange and back at Fort Sill," Spillman said.
"Some of the best Soldiers and leaders in our branch and in the Army are out on the parade field in front of us, and I know that they are eager to demonstrate to you how well trained, motivated, and disciplined they truly are," the general continued. "They will inspire you deeply, and personally I'm eager to watch you thrive in command.
"Your brother and sister brigade commanders of the 11th, 69th and 108th ADA brigades are also thrilled to have you as a fellow commander," he said.
Spillman recounted the achievements of the brigade under Chen in her nearly two years as its commander.
- 3rd Battalion, 2nd ADA certified and is currently deployed to the Central Command area performing its air and missile defense mission, after only 14 months at its home station since its last deployment.
- Chen oversaw the restationing and integration of 5th Battalion, 5th ADA from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., to Fort Sill; n 4th Battalion, 3rd ADA was the first Patriot battalion deployed to Fort Riley, Kan., to conduct Patriot operations, then it deployed to Fort Bliss, Texas;
- 31st ADA Brigade's Headquarters and Headquarters Battery was the first headquarters presence integrated into the U.S. Army Europe exercise in Romania. And the HHB set up large Tactical Operations Commands twice within 24 hours;
- 31st ADA Brigade was the first Forces Command unit to train and certify active Army and National Guard ADA and field artillery units on Counter Rockets, Artillery and Mortar, or C-RAM, prior to deployment; and most recently;
- HHB prepared to deploy to relieve the 11th ADA Brigade at Central Command.
"The bottom line is that Janice has excelled in training, and delivering to combatant commanders a well-trained and ready ADA force," Spillman said. "The 31st has thrived under Janice.
"Janice led her brigade well because she is an extraordinary leader of character," Spillman said. "She has a wonderful mix of leadership talent, a passion for leading Soldiers, and the professional drive to push us hard, while at the same time leading with compassion and caring."
During the ceremony, 31st ADA Brigade Command Sgt. Maj. Jerry Jacobitz, the custodian of the organizational colors, passed the brigade colors to Chen. She then handed them to Spillman, symbolizing that she has passed her mantle of leadership and the loyalty of her Soldiers to their new commander. The general gave the colors to Bartel symbolizing her acceptance of command. Bartel then returned the colors to Jacobitz for safe keeping.
Bartel thanked everyone for attending, as well as the 77th Army Band, the 31st ADA Brigade Soldiers in formation, and the Fort Sill Artillery Half Section for providing an amazing backdrop for the ceremony.
She also thanked Spillman for providing her the opportunity to command at the brigade level.
"I feel truly privileged and humbled to command the fine Soldiers of this formation, and will do my best to live up to the expectations that come with it," said Bartel, who in a previous assignment was the 31st ADA Brigade's operations officer. "I look forward to the challenges and the opportunities ahead."
She thanked Chen for being an engaging and candid sponsor.
"You are a tough act to follow, and I hope to continue to improve what you have already set in motion," Bartel said to Chen.
Acknowledging her family and friends, Bartel said they helped get her to where she is today.
"Nothing is accomplished alone, and I owe a debt of gratitude to those who have been by my side," she said.
Chen noted that the ceremony was not only a change in leadership, but an opportunity to celebrate the outstanding accomplishments of the officers, NCOs, and Soldiers of the 31st ADA "Archer" Brigade.
The ADA branch's operational tempo is exceptionally high, and extremely visible, Chen said.
"To ensure precision in all that we do, hours, days, and weeks of planning, coordination, and execution at every level occurs," she said. "Everything this brigade accomplished was the result of multi-echelon team effort on every small thing because if you don't do the small things right, you'll never do the big things right."
Chen expounded on the brigade's accomplishments mentioned by the general, and added, "Behind each major event there is immeasurable effort, not only for the event itself, but also for everything else that makes a Soldier and a team ready: weapon ranges, convoy training maintenance, command inspections, the sundry list goes on. It takes a concerted effort to be ready now across all aspects of readiness. It also takes a team effort from outside the brigade to achieve this kind of success."
Chen thanked the 32nd AAMDC commanding general and chief of staff for the opportunity and latitude to command the brigade, and for their counsel, coaching trust, advice, and moral support. She went on to thank numerous members in the brigade by name, as well as units and agencies outside the brigade.
Chen congratulated the new commander.
"Lisa, you've got this," she said. "There is no doubt that you will take the Archer Brigade to new levels of success.
"Remember to have a great time, even when times aren't so great because before you know it, 730 days of command will fly by," Chen said.
Chen also thanked her Soldiers, and her family.
"To the mighty Archer Brigade: It has truly been an honor to serve as your commander," Chen said. "You have some exciting times, and some uncharted territory ahead, but there is no team more prepared, more tough, more ready. You are unflinching, unrelenting, and ready now. I am so proud of your accomplishments."
Chen concluded by leaving the brigade with her top quotes.
"Number six. That which has been said cannot be unsaid; that which has been seen cannot be unseen.
"Number five. Keep it cogent and pithy.
"Number four. Do not gasp. Stay cool, calm, cold, and clinical.
"Number three. How you say, what you say, matters.
"Number two. That is all.
"and, Number one. Bam!" she said striking the podium. "Done! Archer Brigade I salute you! Ready and vigilant! Unleash hell! Archer 6 signing off."
Chen will remain at Fort Sill to lead the Fires Center of Excellence's Capabilities Development and Integration Directorate (CDID).
CDID's missions include focusing on the Fires operational environment from a threat or intelligence aspect, modernization, force management, and developing concepts for anticipated battlefields, as explained at the recent Fires Conference here.
"I feel great," Chen said about remaining at Fort Sill. "This is a great community that actually supports its military. I don't believe there is a division between Fort Sill and Lawton -- we are one big unified community."
Afterward, Chen met dozens of well-wishers at Polo Field, and Bartel greeted service members, Department of Army civilians, families, and friends during a reception inside the Polo Club.