Drawsko Pormoski Training Area, Poland. – 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division kicked off one of several leadership changes happening in the brigade this summer, with Lt. Col. Marc Austin, outgoing commander of 2nd Battalion, 69th Armored Regiment, relinquishing command to Lt. Col. George Bolton during a ceremony at Camp Mustang, Glebokie, Poland, June 1.
“To 2-69AR, thank you,” said Austin. “ Two years, 24 months, 730 days or 17,520 hours, depending on one’s perspective, has flown by; We started this command on another field in another country, with a little more hair and a reflection with an understanding that I am just a care taker of 2-69 for the Army.”
Austin’s commitment to continue the legacy of greatness in the Panther battalion, was followed with results.
“Marc, under your stewardship this battalion led the 3rd Infantry Division in combat readiness and lethality,” said Col. Scott O’Neal, commander of the 2nd ABCT, in his address during the ceremony. “Every day you prepared for war. Knowing readiness is momentary. Systems, processes, techniques, and procedures are as temporary as the leaders enforcing those standards.”
During his time in command, Austin led the Panthers through many challenges. Transitioning his battalion from a light infantry battalion to a combat armored battalion, shooting several gunneries, participating in numerous exercises such as Panther, Spartan and Marne Focuses. He also led his battalion through a rotation at the National Training Center, Fort Irwin, Calif., recently taking on exercise DefenderEurope 2020 in Poland.
Closing out Austin’s tenure as commander, O’Neal said your duty is complete, Job well done.
“George, as you assume the role of Panther 6, we ask you to remember this,” said O’Neal. “ ‘The things you do for yourself are gone when you are gone, but the things you do for others remain as your legacy’, this principle will guide the endless challenges this battalion will face in the coming months. Build this team to fight and win as part of the team of teams within our brigade and divisions, we have no doubt that this battalion will write a new chapter building on the legacy of those who came before you, setting the example of those yet to come.”
Bolton comes to Poland (Fort Stewart) after serving an assignment as a professor of Military Science at Alabama A&M University, commissioning officers through the Army Reserve Officer Training Corps program.
“I will fight until my very last breath,” said Bolton. “Ensuring we accomplish the mission; I will care for each and every Soldier and their Families with every ounce of compassion in my heart.”
Bolton ended his speech with his head high, this is our battalion, this is our command, Panther 6 signing on the net. All policies and procedures in effect. Speed and Power! Send Me! Rock of the Marne!