JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas (Aug. 17, 2020) -- Deployed members of the 419th Contracting Support Brigade welcomed a new commander during a change of command Aug. 6 in Afghanistan.
Col. Jim Craig assumed command of the brigade from Col. Brad Hodge while forward deployed as the command and control element of Army Contracting Command-Afghanistan in support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel.
Craig comes to the 419th CSB from U.S. Army Reserve Headquarters where he served as the director of the contract administration support office. Hodge departs the brigade for his next assignment with the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland.
Craig is Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act Level III certified in contracting and program management and has served in a variety of assignments of increasing responsibility. His assignments include assistant program executive officer for foreign military sales with the Program Executive Office for Combat Support and Combat Service Support; commander of Army Contracting Command-New Jersey as well as assignments with three additional program executive offices. His operational assignments include deployments to Iraq, Kuwait and Bosnia.
Craig was commissioned as a second lieutenant in June 1995 from the United States Military Academy at West Point, where he earned his Bachelor of Science in computer science. He holds a Master of Science from the University of Alabama at Huntsville and a Master of Science in Strategic Studies from the Air War College.
The tradition of changes of command is rooted in military history dating back to the 18th century when organizational flags with colors and symbols unique to each unit were developed. During a change of command conducted in front of the unit, the organizational flag was passed to the individual assuming command to which Soldiers of the unit would dedicate their loyalty and trust. Today, a unit’s colors also represents its heritage and history. Adapted to comply with current COVID-19 limitations, deployed members of the brigade exercised social distancing measures as the organizational flag was passed by Command Sgt. Maj. T.J. Higgs, who is the keeper of the colors as the brigade command sergeant major.
The 419th CSB is headquartered at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and provides worldwide contracting support to enable combat effectiveness and enhance the readiness of the XVIII Airborne Corps, U.S. Army Forces Command, U.S. Army Reserve Command and U.S. Installation Management Command. It is made up of four contracting battalions and seven installation-level contracting offices.