CAMP SHELBY, Mississippi -- The U.S. Army Reserve Soldiers of 3rd Battalion, 349th Logistic Support Battalion bid farewell to their outgoing commander and welcomed in a new leader during a change of command ceremony at Spearhead Field, Saturday.
The outgoing commander, Lt. Col. André Jenkins, Sr., will transition to the 84th Training Command, 1st Branch, 3rd Training Brigade, where he will serve as the branch chief and be promoted to the rank of colonel.
"You embraced the challenges of battalion command and led this team to new heights," said Col. Jack Vantress, commander, 177th Armored Brigade. "You've increased readiness, and that's attributed to your leadership."
Jenkins, who served 17 months in command, became emotional as he gave his final remarks to his unit.
"I leave with a heavy heart because while I'm grateful to be able to move on, I am sad to leave this battalion," said Jenkins. I fell into a unit who took me in and opened their hearts to me, and I thank you for allowing me to be part of this family."
The new commander, Lt. Col. James Hernandez, arrives to the "Liberty" Bn. from the 84th Training Command where he served as a staff observer, coach/trainer.
During his opening remarks Hernandez acknowledged his predecessor had left big shoes to fill, but he was ready to accept the challenge of command and excited about working with his new team.
"The biggest honor is the ability to serve," said Hernandez. "I look forward to serving you as your commander."
The 3rd Bn., 349th LSBn, is one of five Reserve Component battalions operationally controlled by the "Spearhead" Brigade. The team works to provide OC/T support to enhance Army readiness as part of the First Army mission with multiple partner units throughout the country.