By Staff Sgt. Sinthia RosarioJune 24, 2019
GRAFENWOEHR, Germany - The 18th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion "Warhammer" hosted it's Change of Command ceremony at Tower Barracks Parade Field, June 21. Families, friends and allies and partners bid farewell to outgoing Commander Lt. Col. Jonathan W. Meisel and welcomed incoming Commander Lt. Col. Charles V. Jaquillard.
In keeping with tradition, the passing of the unit colors was conducted during the ceremony. The passing of the unit colors represents the transfer of authority from one commander to another.
Master Sgt. Terik R. Ocasio, assigned to the 18th CSSB and representing the backbone of the unit during the ceremony, passed the unit colors to Meisel, having safeguarded the colors as the 18th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion Commander. Meisel then passed the colors to Col. Michelle K. Donahue, commander, 16th Sustainment Brigade "Knights' Brigade", formally relinquishing his authority and responsibilities of the unit. Donahue passed the colors to Jaquillard, signifying her trust in him and charging him with the responsibility of the unit, it's Soldiers and its mission. Assuming command, Jaquillard then returned the colors back to Ocasio, for continued safeguarding.
Donahue was the reviewing officer and guest speaker at the ceremony. She spoke about the units' missions, it's capabilities, exercises the unit participate in, partnerships built under Meisel's command and his accomplishments.
"Jonathan, you have done an amazing job leading this formation," Donahue said. "I stand here impressed by the success that your formation has had over the last two years. Not a day or week went by that CSM Graham [Knights' Brigade Command Sgt. Maj. Frank M. Graham Jr.] and I weren't amazed with your team's operational reach and your grasp of the distributed mission command of eight companies across Europe."
Under Meisel's command, his Soldiers transported 650,000 tons into and out of 33 European countries, managed more than 350,000 short tons of ammunition, issued more than 80,000 supply requisitions worth more than $34 million. They also dispensed over 1.5 million gallons of fuel and provided tens of thousands of direct and indirect man-hours of maintenance support to orphan units across United States European Command area of responsibility.
"I know that their [Soldiers] success, in part is due to your guiding hand, to the development of your junior leaders, to the love you have for these Soldiers and their Families and to your drive to excel," Donahue said.
She added that she knows that they have asked a lot from the Warhammer Soldiers and their families, but his team has always met the challenge.
Meisel address the crowd one final time. He spoke proudly about each company under the 18th CSSB, their unique capabilities and the support these units provide throughout the European theater. The Warhammer Battalion has the ability to provide support on ammunition, petroleum, field maintenance, transportation, supply and much more.
"All these companies combine to provide the capability and capacity necessary to support the theater base," Meisel said. "Whether in Germany, during exercises or RSOM (Reception, Staging, Onward Movement) support, in Belgium or the Netherlands receiving ABCTs (Armored Brigade Combat Team) and providing life support in AR-North or AR South operating FLE (Forward Logistic Element) and life support areas - these Soldiers sustain this theater and they do a damn good job doing it."
As his time as commander came to an end, Meisel had a few parting words for Jaquillard.
"Charlie [Jaquillard], Ilira and Mike, welcome to Grafenwoehr and the 18th," Meisel said. "This is a great organization. Do your best to take care of these fine men and women and they'll do their best taking care of you."
Donahue closed with remarks to both Meisel and Jaquillard by saying, "Thank you for what you have done and thank you for what's yet to come." "It is because of leaders like you and the Soldiers that we are privileged to lead - that we remain the world's preeminent military force."