By Mr. Wallace McBride (Fort Jackson)July 3, 2019
Families, friends and colleagues gathered June 28 for the 165th Infantry Brigade change of command on Victory Field.
Brig. Gen. Milford H. "Beags" Beagle Jr., Fort Jackson commander welcomed incoming brigade commander Col. Eric Flesch and bid farewell to outgoing brigade commander Col. Patrick Aspland.
"You're seeing a changing of the guard between one great leader -- who was selected out of a small percentage from among his peer group to do a specific mission in a certain way to a certain standard -- to another great leader charged with that same task," Beagle told the gathering.
It won't be the first assignment at Fort Jackson for the incoming commander of the "Lightning Brigade," he said.
"I guess it's great karma that the 165th gains a commander that is intimately familiar with the brigade and Fort Jackson," he said. "Eric is no stranger to Fort Jackson. He served as the battalion commander of the 1st Battalion, 34th Regiment and he served as the Army Training Center G3. So he has the knowledge and the relationships to hit the ground running."
Aspland said the "Lightning Brigade" is one of the best training units in the Army, turning 30,000 civilians each year into Soldiers.
"Eric, congratulations and good luck," Aspland said. "You're taking the helm of one of the best units I've ever seen. Cherish the next two years ... it will be gone before you know it. This outfit has been top notch and it's been an honor and a privilege to have served with the men and women of the Lightning Brigade."
Flesch said he understood the responsiblity he was taking on.
"To the men and women of the 165th Infantry Brigade, it's an honor to join you again for this great mission -- building the next generation of our Army."