Warriors of the 2nd Infantry Division said goodbye to their chief of staff as Korean partners bid fond farewell to a distinguished presence on the peninsula during a "patch" ceremony conducted Friday (June 5) at the Village Green on Camp Red Cloud, Korea.
Col. Christopher P. Gehler served as the Warrior Division's chief of staff since July 2008 and with U.S. Forces Korea since July 2005. The colonel will assume command of Joint Task Force-Bravo in Soto Cano, Honduras, during his next assignment.
A large crowd of Division leaders, Soldiers and Family members as well as Korean governmental, civic and military leaders gathered amid warm, clear weather for the event. Republic of Korean officials recognized the outgoing chief of staff and his Family with a series of gifts and awards. The colonel, his wife, Denise - a prominent FRG leader and volunteer - and three children, Madison, Max and Zoe, humbly accepted the gifts and kind words. The outgoing chief of staff praised the Korean people as gracious hosts the Family would leave reluctantly and remember fondly.
Maj. Gen. John W. Morgan III, the 2nd ID commanding general, described the Gehlers as a "great Army family that has touched us in so many ways." The commander presented Gehler the Legion of Merit during the awards ceremony. He also presented Mrs. Denise Gehler the Commander's Award for Public Service and the Helping Hand Award for Outstanding Volunteer Service.
Morgan focused on Gehler's role as Warrior chief of staff and accomplishments with the Division during the patch ceremony held immediately following the awards presentation.
The commander described the chief of staff as "a linchpin connecting the staff and subordinate leaders to the commander. To be effective, the chief has to merit the commander's implicit trust. He is, often, the eyes and ears of the commander during the staffing process."
"My vision," Morgan added, "has never been so acute, and my hearing so attuned" as during Gehler's tenure. "Thank you. As the chief, you have superbly mentored and coached my staff to hone their abilities to receive, analyze, interpret