By Parker RomeJune 11, 2009
FORT RILEY, Kan. - Col. Kevin Brown replaced Col. Richard Piscal as the garrison commander of Fort Riley June 5 during a change of command ceremony at Ware Parade Field.
"Rich and Theresa Piscal made a difference at Fort Riley, and I assure you, their impacts will be felt long into the future, especially since I'm not going to let them go anywhere," said 1st Infantry Division and Fort Riley Commanding General Maj. Gen. Vincent Brooks during the ceremony. "We're delighted they're going to be able to stay and continue as a part of our team, but in a different role."
Piscal, who became garrison commander in July 2007, took over as chief of staff for the 1st Inf. Div. during a ceremony later in the day June 5.
"Over the past two years, (Piscal) turned concepts into action," Brooks said. "(He) turned them into a physical reality.
"(He has) provided programs and services to accommodate a 70 percent increase in population while keeping morale and welfare high, providing for a quality of life that's been recognized by our secretary of the Army."
It was an honor to serve at Fort Riley, Piscal said, which he called a great and historic post.
"This has been one of the more challenging jobs in my career, but also it's been one of the most rewarding," Piscal said. "I went from making sure my tank battalion had an operational rating rate of over 90 percent to ensuring the Commissary was actively stocked with baby food. "
At the end of his speech, Piscal expressed his confidence in his replacement.
"A proven warfighter, (Brown) knows Soldiers and Families, and he will take this garrison to the next level," Piscal said.
Brown came to Fort Riley from Fort Drum, N.Y., where he served as the deputy to the senior commander of the 10th Mountain Division (Rear) and Fort Drum.
"I've served with him," Brooks said. "I can tell you first hand some of what we're getting. He will bring even more than what I'm about to describe. This officer knows how to lead and knows how to command."
Brown spent 29 of the last 48 months in Iraq, Brooks said.
"I can tell you his style is energetic," Brooks said. "He's creative. He's mission-oriented. He's a problem solver who has a passion for Soldiers and Families. He's someone who always delivers. So garrison, you're in great hands. You just got a great commander. You had one, and you just got another."
Brooks told Brown he had just one mission for him to fulfill during his new role.
"So Kevin, I've got a mission for you," Brooks said. "It's a real simple one. Fulfill the vision of making Fort Riley the premiere division-level installation in the world."
Brown said he's glad to take the reigns of such a remarkable garrison with a great reputation.
"I'm honored to lead the garrison through the time of change that is ahead of us - no doubt an exciting time," Brown said. "I've heard many good things about Fort Riley and the Central Flint Hills Region, and I'm eager to hit the ground running and keep us on pace.
"The people here, Soldiers, Families, civilian employees and community members all have a reputation of being dedicated, friendly and generous with their time. That's a great formula to realize more success."
Brown said his experience at Fort Drum has helped prepare him to lead the garrison at Fort Riley
"Luckily for me, in my past few years at Fort Drum, I've had the ability to serve on the rear staff, the non-deployed staff, while division headquarters was deployed forward," Brown said. "So that immersed me in an environment where I was working with the garrison directorates and the community, so I've had a little bit of that experience to help me get ready for this."
Brown and his wife, Lisa, have two children: a son, Tyler, who is attending SUNY-Potsdam in upstate New York and a daughter, Erin, who will be a freshman at Arizona State University this fall.