USAG HUMPHREYS, South Korea – The 532nd Military Intelligence ‘Black Horse’ Battalion welcomed their new commander during the change of command ceremony at Zoeckler Gym, here, June 18.
The change of command ceremony centers around the time-honored tradition of the passing of colors; during this ceremony the outgoing commander, Lt. Col. Dave Hazelton passed the unit colors to Col. Paul Oh, commander, 501st Military Intelligence Brigade, who in turn passed them to the incoming commander, Lt. Col. Steve Kwon.
During his remarks, Oh told those watching the ceremony that in his brigade 532nd MI Battalion is where everything comes together. All the intelligence efforts of the other four battalions flow into the 532nd, where ‘intelligence fusion’ occurs.
Oh continued, not only has the battalion supported U.S. intelligence efforts, it also strengthened the Alliance with our Korean partners, becoming an essential player in the Republic of Korea / U.S. combined intelligence enterprise. The steady hand and command vision of Hazelton expertly guided these efforts.
However, Oh said, Hazelton’s focus has been on the Army’s idea that if we take care of our Soldiers, then the mission will follow.
“For the past two years, Dave has preached the People First philosophy,” said Oh. “Before Eighth Army or the brigade headquarters adopted this mantra, Dave focused on the welfare of his people in this battalion: Soldiers, Civilians, Contractors, Families.”
Oh informed the audience that Kwon, although serving in a new role as a commander, is not new to the brigade, having spent more than a year working at the Special U.S. Liaison Advisor Korea (SUSLAK). The brigade now welcomes Kwon as he takes the reins of the Black Horse Battalion.
“Congratulations on taking the mantle of command,” said Oh. “There is nothing like it. Lead with passion, humility, and joy.”
During his remarks, Hazelton said, “Command, as a position is an incredible privilege. And I am so incredibly grateful, realizing the accomplishments over the last two years were the combined effort of hundreds of people, dozens of incredible leaders, leading at various echelons, who cared greatly and did the incredible to take care of their Soldiers, and their mission.”
Hazelton and his family will move on to Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania, where he will attend U.S. Army War College in preparation for his promotion to colonel.
Kwon thanked Oh for his kind words and said he and his family are excited and blessed to be a part of the Red Dragon Family once again.
“I am overjoyed by the possibilities of what we can achieve together,” said Kwon. “I look forward to working with you all more closely in the near future.”
The 501st Military Intelligence Brigade provides indications and early warning of actions by opposing forces that could threaten the tense but stable peace in the Republic of Korea. In the event of hostilities, the brigade’s mission shifts to providing combined, multi-discipline intelligence and force protection support to the United Nations Command/Combined Forces Command, the CFC Ground Component Command, and their subordinate units.