Story and photos by Will Ravenstein
1st Inf. Div. Public Affairs
The passing of the 1st Infantry Division Artillery colors from Maj. Gen. John S. Kolasheski, 1st Inf. Div. and Fort Riley commanding general, to Col. Timothy R. Mungie June 21, signaled Mungie officially took over as commander.
"Today we thank Col. Rory Crooks and his wife Lisa, for their service to the 1st Infantry Division, and welcome, Col. Tim Mungie and his wife Yaolin to the 'Big Red One team," Kolasheski said. "Under the leadership of Col. Rory Crooks, the division artillery has flourished. The division artillery's unique structure in mission set, make it among the most challenging commands in the entire Army. Over the past 21 months, this brigade has achieved nothing short of over overwhelming success in all of its endeavors."
Kolasheski praised Crooks for his efforts, he was anxious to see what Mungie would bring to the division.
"While 1st Infantry Division and Fort Riley bid farewell to one exceptional Army family -- we are tremendously privileged to gain another," he said. "We are proud to welcome Col. Tim Mungie, his wife, Yaolin and their children. The Army selects only it's very best for brigade command and the division is fortunate that the Army got this one right. Tim Mungie is unquestionably the right leader at the right time for the First Division."
Mungie, the son of a Vietnam veteran and graduate from San Diego State University, California, commissioned in 1997 as a field artillery officer. After several tours of Iraq and moving up the leadership chain, Mungie completed an Army War College Fellowship at the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University.
While at Stanford, Mungie explored complex international problems and proposed innovative solutions to senior policymakers within the Department of Defense.
After Kolasheski and Crooks spoke to the assembled audience, Mungie took a few minutes to speak.
"Today is a great day to be in the Big Red One, and there's no better place to serve than here at Fort Riley, Kansas," Mungie said. "Sir, command sergeant major, it's truly an honor and privilege to join this team.
"To the 'Drumfire' Soldiers -- there are a few things so inspiring as to see you, the king of battle, in formation," he said. "You did not even need to fire the guns today to bring in the lightning and the thunder. Command Sgt. Maj. [Jose] Barajas, the Soldiers look lethal and disciplined, the colors stand tall and straight -- Drumfire, I am proud to serve with you. Remember when in doubt -- attack."
After the ceremony attendees formed a receiving line to personally say goodbye to Crooks. Other attendees made their way to the Custer House to welcome Mungie and his family.