ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, Illinois – The Logistics Civil Augmentation Program Support Brigade, U.S. Army Reserve Sustainment Command, held a change of command ceremony via video live streaming, July 10 here in Heritage Hall.
The ceremony saw Col. Michael Clark take command as Col. Garrett Kolo stepped down fulfilling his two-year command. Maj. Gen. Daniel Mitchell, commanding general, U.S. Army Sustainment Command, presided over the ceremony.
LOGCAP is administered by the U.S. Army Sustainment Command, headquartered at RIA. The LSB provides military supporting/augmentation capability to the LOGCAP Program Management Office, ASC.
In an interview Kolo explained why this is a unique unit.
“We don't have Mission Essential Tasks [like other units] in the Army Training Network; these are developed by the director of Policy, Program & Training at the LOGCAP PMO. Because we work closely with LOGCAP PMO changes to our METs can happen very quickly.”
The LSB is a U.S. Army Reserve unit, and, at the height of Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom, had more than 100 Soldiers deployed at any given time. LSB is the only unit of its kind in the Joint Force. It consists of a headquarters and five regionally aligned LSB Support battalions.
Kolo said LSB has an authorized strength of 180 Soldiers, and currently has 178 with 78 mobilized. There are no civilians nor contractors, with the lowest ranking Soldier being a staff sergeant.
A larger ceremony planned for outdoors could not be held because of the coronavirus pandemic. Hence, video live streaming ceremonies have been the best method to reach a larger audience across the military. Families of the incoming and outgoing commander were present.
During his remarks, Mitchell discussed the importance and legacy of leadership. He said leaders develop the Soldiers in one’s command to be future leaders, and those eventual leaders in turn develop new leaders while they are in command.
“That’s what makes our Army strong,” Mitchell said. “The line remains unbroken and will carry on in the future.”
Clark hails from Mount Carmel, Illinois. He was commissioned in 1998 through Eastern Illinois University’s ROTC program as the distinguished military graduate. He holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from EIU, a master’s degree in management from the University of Maryland and a second master’s in strategic studies from the U.S. Army War College.
“I’m sure Michael, based on your past performance, that you’ll take the brigade from where Garrett brought it, advance it down the field, and then take it even further,” Mitchell said.
In an interview, Clark was asked how this unit functions in a COVID-19 environment prior to a vaccine being made available.
“It is always challenging taking command during a mobilization. What further complicates this change of command during their current mobilization is the circumstances necessitating it,” Clark said.
“The current COVID-19 crisis throughout the U.S. and world was completely unpredicted and unprecedented in terms of scale and societal impact. We have no idea how long it will last, if citizens will develop a natural herd immunity, or if a vaccine will be developed and approved. We also have to be concerned and prepared if there is a second wave of cases during the fall or even sooner,” he said.
On another note, Clark predicted there would be no specific changes in unit operations.
“The LSB has a great track record because of their Soldiers and leadership. At this point, I cannot see changing anything specific. We will continue to focus on theater support missions and deployments as well as our current mobilization,” Clark said.
In his final remarks as commander, Kolo thanked those in the chain of command and his family for their continuous support in allowing him to succeed.
“With all these commitments, we ask ourselves ‘Why do we serve?’” He answered that with “When was the last time you were part of something much greater than yourself?’”
Kolo’s next assignment will be the deputy commander of the 310th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) at Indianapolis, Indiana.
The LOGCAP Support Unit -- predecessor of the LSB -- was established Oct. 16, 1998 at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. The LSB was established on Oct. 16, 2013, at RIA.
ASC's mission is to integrate and synchronize the delivery of logistical capabilities and enablers at the operational and tactical points of need around the world.