FORT STEWART, Ga. — The 926th Engineer Brigade, headquartered at Montgomery, Ala., welcomed its new commander, Col. Kenneth Shubert, during the unit’s change of command ceremony, July 17 on Fort Stewart.
The ceremony was held after the brigade completed a combined-arms, wet-gap-crossing event alongside their active duty counterparts. The 3rd Infantry Division’s commanding general, Maj. Gen. Tony Aguto, and the XVIII Airborne Corps commander, Lt. Gen. Michael “Erik” Kurilla, were in attendance for the successful wet gap crossing event, which featured M1 Abrams tanks crossing a floating bridge constructed by the 926th.
According to Soldiers and leaders of the brigade, the outgoing commander, Col. Steven Hayden, served the brigade with distinction while maintaining readiness through effective training.
“My time as commander was very eventful,” Hayden said. “The culminating events and Iron Castle University [training and mentoring program for the junior captains] was really me giving a vision to the staff and supporting units and being inspired by seeing them accomplish that.”
Soldiers expressed how impactful Hayden’s command has been to the Brigade, while also embracing Shubert as their new commander.
“It was enlightening working with Col. Hayden,” said Maj. Mark Desouza, an assistant plans officer assigned to the 926th Engineer Brigade. “He pushed us ahead by leaps and bounds beyond what we were before.”
Desouza offered his enthusiasm for the 926th’s future and for Shubert as a driving force in their continued success.
Capt. Philip Parenti, assistant plans officer for the 926th said, “It’s been really exciting, yet a whole lot of work building the many exercises and advertising our engineering capabilities during Col. Hayden’s command.”
Parenti said he’s excited to have Shubert continue the vision that Hayden established for the brigade and he’s looking forward to witnessing where the brigade goes.
Shubert expressed his excitement for maintaining the legacy of excellence as the new commander of the 926th.
“I’d like to continue the upward trajectory that Col. Hayden has started with the brigade, in terms of readiness and our ability to deploy rapidly and fight,” Shubert said.
After seeing the capabilities and readiness of the 926th during the wet gap crossing event in front of some of the Army’s premier commanders and leadership, Shubert said he is looking forward to being the most combat-ready brigade in the U.S. Army Reserves.