By Donna KlapakisJune 11, 2018
YOKOHAMA NORTH DOCK, Japan -- As happens every two years, this June will see a change of command at the 836th Transportation Battalion here.
The outgoing commander, Lt. Col. Clydea Prichard-Brown, has made a great impression not only on members of her command, but also throughout her higher headquarters, the 599th Transportation Brigade at Wheeler Army Airfield, Hawaii.
Because she has led terminal management teams for port operations in Hawaii, brigade headquarters personnel know her better than other battalion commanders.
599th traffic management specialist Frank Viray worked with Prichard-Brown on many missions at Pearl Harbor.
"She's a detail person," Viray said. "She likes to talk to the leaders and state to a T how everything is supposed to go. Everybody understands up front what their tasks and purposes are for being there. I would be willing to work under her command any time."
599th safety officer, Randey Hayes, also appreciated her dedication to the mission.
"Lt. Col. Prichard-Brown is the most safety-engaged CO that I have ever seen," he said. "She actually put safety first instead of just giving it lip service."
Members of the 836th said they learned a great deal from her while she commanded the unit.
"She is an outstanding role model who actively pursues all opportunities to coach, teach and mentor her subordinates, said Maj. Christopher Busse, 836th executive officer. "I also learned that she has the incredible ability to respond to e-mails 24 hours a day bringing a new meaning to the word multitasking!"
Management analyst, Tom Suzuki, said he learned to better appreciate each member's role in the organization.
"Lt. Col. Prichard-Brown taught me an organization is made up of all employees, including military, Department of the Army civilians, and local nationals," Suzuki said. "If even one person is missing, it will not function smoothly. So it is necessary to fully understand the role of each person. Our work is progressing on a daily basis."
Bob Meno, cargo distribution branch chief noted her unique style.
"She has a totally different style of leadership," he said. "She is Army Strong, but very flexible to communicate and asking questions.
"She participates in a hands-on manner with the battalion and U.S. Army Japan personnel. She has made sure that U.S. Army Japan knows 836th Transportation Battalion.
"She has cared for the people under her command on a professional and personal level. She will be missed by Soldiers, Japanese and Department of Defense civilians," Meno added.
Prichard Brown said she regards taking care of her employees as part of her mission.
"We have such wonderful, long-term employees who have been here for years," she said. "I'm only here for two years. I'm here to allow them to do what they're trained to do.
"My role is to take the shots to shield the battalion from the naysayers," she added. "And then I help us improve on our processes. I will be the one who goes to and battle and shield anyone."
Operationally, Prichard-Brown said certain accomplishments from her time in command stand out.
"When I came into command, the war fighters we were dealing with thought of port operations and deployments as an admin move," she said "They did not understand that movement is a military mission that should be treated like a real operation.
"This requires mission analysis, proper planning and coordination, and all of the military decision making process. Because they were so used to dropping off equipment at the port and turning it over to us, they didn't have a sense of responsibility.
"Now they know that from the time they leave the motor pool, they have to have accountability of their equipment and proper marking of containers. This helped increase their focus from beginning to end."
Prichard-Brown said she was also able to make a difference on contingency operations.
"The Army prepositioned stock contingency preparation initiative was to prepare all the equipment, make sure it is identified, pre-labeled, and packed for deployment. This required that all of the units come together to go out and ID and label their equipment.
"That identified holes in the original plan, because everyone was sure of their own part, but no one had ever brought the separate units together before to see how their parts would fit in a real-world mission."
Prichard-Brown has been selected for promotion to colonel. After she gives up command of the battalion, she will advance to the Army War College in Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania, for her next assignment.