By SGT. 1ST CLASS GARY COOPERJune 28, 2018
Fourth Cavalry Multi-Functional Training Brigade held a change of command ceremony June 20 at Brooks Field, at Fort Knox. Incoming 4th Cav. Commander, Col. James Turner assumed command from outgoing commander Col. Flint Patterson, during an event presided over by First Army Division East Commander, Maj. Gen. Todd McCaffrey.
After the "passing of the unit's colors," during which Patterson symbolically relinquished his command by handing the 4th Cav. colors to McCaffrey, who in turn passed the flag and the command to Turner, McCaffrey praised the outgoing commander.
"Flint Patterson is the constant trainer. And training Soldiers and units is the heart of what this unit has done under Flint's leadership the last two years," McCaffrey said.
Like the other brigades of First Army Division East, 4th Cav. MFTB primarily consists of observer coach trainers, or OC/Ts. The key tasks of the Saber Brigade include training and administering the warrior training tasks and theater-specific individual readiness training to insure individual Soldier proficiency. They also conduct numerous missions, including organizing and training on individual training tasks, lanes training, collective unit lanes training, observer/trainer mentor, and unit mobilization assistor duties.
"There is perhaps no other active component commander in the Army that's had such a significant impact on the Army Reserve's combat training support program as Flint Patterson," McCaffrey continued. "He has been the point-man to advise and assist the Army Reserve and our teammates in the 84th Training Command, just down the road from here, have turned to him to take the CSTX program and make it truly focus on individual and collective readiness. As you depart command, know that your legacy will continue to impact this formation for years to come."
McCaffrey went on to talk about Patterson's next assignment.
"Flint is now going to take those skills and apply them to an even broader audience, at the office of the Training Director of the Army G3 at the Pentagon. Having spent two years as the director of training myself, I know firsthand how critical the Assistant Training Director position is, and the vetting process used to select a former brigade commander to occupy that very small, windowless office…a guy who must be one of the Army's best trainers, and Flint Patterson meets that mark."
Patterson's assignment before 4th Cav. MFTB was also at the Pentagon.
"Now as we all know, the Army is fortunate to have a deep bench of talent from which to select its next brigade commanders, and in the case of Col. James Turner, they picked right from the very top of that list," McCaffrey said. "James and his wife Elizabeth and their four children come to 4th Cav. and Division East with a remarkable career of excellence, and I know they come here ready to take this team to the next level."
"While Jim and his family were most recently at the Marine Corps War College they are certainly no strangers to Fort Knox. They served here at Human Resources Command prior to battalion command," said McCaffrey.
Patterson praised the Soldiers of 4th Cav. for their performance during his tenure.
"I am humbled to be one of a team of teammates. I'm very proud of what you've accomplished in this brigade because of your amazing ability to operate across the spectrum of various training environments.
"I want to give thanks to my noncommissioned officers, warrant officers and officers in this formation for making this a professional organization and sustaining continuity of operations here in 4th Cav. Multi-Functional Training Brigade."
Patterson expressed his confidence in Turner and 4th Cav., MFTB's future. "You've inherited an outstanding organization, and of course you're ready to assume the mantle of command, there's no doubt in my military mind."
Turner's remarks emphasized the importance of continuity. "Flint, thank you for making this transition seamless. I want to wish you all the best and god speed you in your next assignment."
Steve Colman, deputy chief of operations for 4th Cav., MFTB, underlined the value of continuity during leadership transitions. "Especially in a situation like this, where all the battalion commanders are changing out, almost at the same time, it's critical. And then you've got First Army Division East doing a change of command and assumption of responsibility next week. This is nothing we haven't seen before, though."
Turner also took time to thank his family, especially his wife. "Army spouses are the unsung heroes who work tirelessly behind the scenes to make Soldiers successful. Elizabeth, thank you for what you do each and every day."
Turner followed tradition as he concluded his speech.
"I look forward to working with [the battalion commanders] as well as all the Soldiers of 4th Cav. to sustain all the traditions of excellence in this brigade.
"And lastly, all policies and procedures remain in effect," he concluded. "Train for combat. Saber six on the net."