Capt. Marco Lara, incoming commander, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Special Troops Battalion, 1st Theater Sustainment Command, delivers his remarks during the company change of command ceremony held at Waybur Theater at Fort Knox Kentucky, April 9, 2021. “When I was at the Captains career course, this was my top pick, this exact position and now I’m here.” (U.S. Army photo my Staff Sgt. Nahjier Williams, 1st TSC Public Affairs)
1 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Capt. Marco Lara, incoming commander, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Special Troops Battalion, 1st Theater Sustainment Command, delivers his remarks during the company change of command ceremony held at Waybur Theater at Fort Knox Kentucky, April 9, 2021. “When I was at the Captains career course, this was my top pick, this exact position and now I’m here.” (U.S. Army photo my Staff Sgt. Nahjier Williams, 1st TSC Public Affairs) (Photo Credit: Staff Sgt. Nahjier Williams) VIEW ORIGINAL
Col. Joseph Kurz, chief of staff, 1st Theater Sustainment Command, passes the company guidon to Capt. Marco Lara, incoming commander, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Special Troops Battalion, 1st TSC during the company change of command ceremony held at Waybur Theater at Fort Knox, Kentucky, April 9, 2021. In accepting the guidon, Lara symbolizes his acceptance of responsibility for the command.
2 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Col. Joseph Kurz, chief of staff, 1st Theater Sustainment Command, passes the company guidon to Capt. Marco Lara, incoming commander, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Special Troops Battalion, 1st TSC during the company change of command ceremony held at Waybur Theater at Fort Knox, Kentucky, April 9, 2021. In accepting the guidon, Lara symbolizes his acceptance of responsibility for the command. (Photo Credit: Staff Sgt. Nahjier Williams) VIEW ORIGINAL
Capt. Keita Rodgers, outgoing commander, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Special Troops Battalion, 1st Theater Sustainment Command, delivers his final remarks during the company change of command ceremony held at Waybur Theater at Fort Knox Kentucky, April 9, 2021. “I’m confident in Captain Lara’s abilities and ensure you he will also prevail and elevate the unit to better results.” (U.S. Army photo my Staff Sgt. Williams)
3 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Capt. Keita Rodgers, outgoing commander, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Special Troops Battalion, 1st Theater Sustainment Command, delivers his final remarks during the company change of command ceremony held at Waybur Theater at Fort Knox Kentucky, April 9, 2021. “I’m confident in Captain Lara’s abilities and ensure you he will also prevail and elevate the unit to better results.” (U.S. Army photo my Staff Sgt. Williams) (Photo Credit: Staff Sgt. Nahjier Williams) VIEW ORIGINAL
Spc. Jaccob McGee, mechanic, maintenance section, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Special Troops Battalion, 1st Theater Sustainment Command presents a bouquet of yellow roses to Kimberly Pinske-Lara, wife of Captain Marco Lara, representing the command’s warmest welcome and ever-lasting hope that her journey will spring forth new friendships and wonderful memories. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Nahjier Williams, 1st TSC Public Affairs)
4 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Spc. Jaccob McGee, mechanic, maintenance section, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Special Troops Battalion, 1st Theater Sustainment Command presents a bouquet of yellow roses to Kimberly Pinske-Lara, wife of Captain Marco Lara, representing the command’s warmest welcome and ever-lasting hope that her journey will spring forth new friendships and wonderful memories. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Nahjier Williams, 1st TSC Public Affairs) (Photo Credit: Staff Sgt. Nahjier Williams) VIEW ORIGINAL

Capt. Keita C. Rodgers relinquished command of the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Special Troops Battalion, 1st Theater Sustainment Command, to Capt. Marco G. Lara in a ceremony at Waybur Theater, April 9, at Fort Knox, Kentucky.

Lt. Col. Brian Kibitlewski, commander, STB, 1st TSC, delivered his speech from Kuwait. “Many of you may not know, Capt. Rodgers was unable to have a ceremony based upon the Army’s guidance at the onset of the pandemic over a year ago. It is only fitting that we provide both the outgoing and incoming commanders this time honored tradition today,” he said.

Kibitlewski spoke about the many challenges Rodgers faced during his time commanding HHC, with most of the formation teleworking or impacted by contact with COVID-19.

“Keita devised a plan returning to tactical level training, that was safe, effective, and helped leaders reconnect with the junior Soldiers in our formation,” he said. “He provided the opportunity to measure the impacts from the stresses of COVID-19, and worked toward returning to combat readiness in our formation.”

Rodgers also conducted a campaign on excess equipment. Kibitlewski described how this helped identify and prepare to turn in close to $700,000 of items. Rodgers also reorganized the battalion consolidated motor pool, increasing its functionality to support unit maintenance operations. Kibitlewski summed up Rodgers’ accomplishments with how he “Facilitated deployment and redeployment of over 150, 1st TSC personnel from the U.S. Central area of responsibility.”

Kibitlewski welcomed Capt. Lara, and said that he “Is no stranger to the 1st TSC, being on board months now, working in the support operations directorate, planning sustainment efforts to enable operations in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, and Kuwait. As a former member of the Army athletic program as a wrestler, Marco is no stranger to long hours and putting in the hard work,” he said. “With experience in both conventional and special operations units, Capt. Lara arrives to command ready for the task at hand.”

As he bid farewell to leaders and the Soldiers he led, Rodgers thanked the leaders who sat down and gave “honest, hard, and critical feedback,” Rodgers said that those hard discussions shaped him, and enhanced his professional development. He asked that these leaders pass on the same mentorship to the new commander.

Rodgers described his time as commander and the climate in which the unit operated. “We endured a pandemic, fights against racial injustice, increases in mental health concerns nationwide, and an array of competing circumstances. Throughout it all 1st TSC continued to achieve success,” he said.

Rodgers also spoke about leadership, asking, “Are you holding yourself to the same standard you ask of those around you?” He said that the noncommissioned officers creed describes it best, “All soldiers are entitled to outstanding leadership. It is on us as a collective to provide that leadership,” he stressed.

Rodgers also asked all leaders to, “Be the reliable leaders we all have the capacity to be.”

He concluded his speech expressing his confidence in Lara’s leadership.

Capt. Lara thanked his family, leaders, and Soldiers, “When I graduated from the Captains Career Course, this is the exact position that I wanted,” he emphasized.

Lara said that he is excited about this opportunity to lead. “Thank you all for giving me this responsibility,” he said. “Thank you for trusting me, and I promise to work hard.”