FORT BENNING, Ga. – The 1st Battalion, 28th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division officially changed command and responsibility during a ceremony on May 25, 2021, at Fort Benning’s Black Lions Field.
During the ceremony, Lt. Col. Stephen Magennis relinquished command and responsibility of the 1st Bn. 28th Inf. Regt.. to Lt. Col. Daniel Pecha.
Over the course of the last two years under Magennis’s command, the battalion has accomplished a lengthy list of achievements. He led the battalion through a formal conversion from a task force to a light infantry battalion. The battalion led cadet summer training at the United States Military Academy, participated in U.S. Army Africa’s ten level training for NATO African countries, completed a National Training Center rotation in support of 1st Armored Division, and conducted a successful Warfighter Exercise. The unit now prepares to test its mettle as part of Operation Orient Shield in Japan.
The Black Lions’ have taken a number of distinguishing awards, including winning the annual 3rd ID Marne Week in 2019 and placing as the best battalion in 2021. The battalion took awards for the best fire support team in the division for two consecutive years and for the top U.S. Army Forces Command sniper section during the 2021 Best Sniper Competition.
“Command is a fantastically challenging experience in so many ways,” said Magennis. “Seeing Soldiers achieve great things individually and together as a cohesive team makes it special. I love my Black Lions and I look forward to watching their continued success.”
Many of these accolades occurred throughout the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Soldiers that served under Magennis’ cite his most profound accomplishment as the culture that he has fostered and cultivated in the unit.
“It has been an absolute honor to serve as a leader in this Organization under LTC Magennis’ command,” said 1st Lt. Daralyn Roughton, a plans officer for the battalion. “He not only developed the lethality and proficiency of our Soldiers, but empowered quality men and women of character at every level. He has instilled a sense of pride and excellence to the Black Lions through a winning mentality and the sincerest care for Soldiers. He will be greatly missed by the leaders and Soldiers of 1-28 Infantry.”
During the formal ceremony, the division’s top commander also heaped praise on the outgoing battalion commander.
“From the moment Steve took command of 1-28 Infantry we have kept them on the move,” said Maj. Gen. Antonio Aguto, commanding general of the 3rd ID. “The Army needs highly trained and lethal combat units that can adapt to the complexities of war, and this battalion demonstrates it has all the right skills and attitude to adapt and overcome challenges on any dynamic battlefield in the future.”
Commissioned as a second lieutenant in 1999, Magennis experience includes serving as the deputy in charge of operations at U.S. Army Futures Command prior to assuming command of the Black Lions.
Pecha takes command of the 1st Bn. 28th Inf. Regt. following a three-year tenure as a professor of military science at Creighton University.
“For the last three years I have had the great honor of assisting others in achieving their goals of becoming Army officers and it has been one of, if not the, most rewarding job in my 18-year career,” said Pecha. “Creighton University is an amazing place that embraces the importance of Army Values to include humility. The future of the Army is bright based on the sample of superb young Americans that I had the opportunity to work with.”
The commanding general also welcomed Pecha and his family to the Marne Division and expressed confidence in the incoming commander’s abilities for the unit’s future missions. Pecha is excited and eager for the task.
"I am truly honored to have been selected as the battalion commander to an outstanding organization with a history of performance," he said. "As a former Black Lion, 2014 to 2015, I look forward to working with the outstanding officers, noncommissioned officers and Soldiers of the Black Lions battalion and adding to the organization's legacy.”