JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Va — Col. Jeremy St. Laurent assumed command of the 597th Transportation Brigade from Col. Michael Patrick in a ceremony held June 25 at Magnolia Park at Fort Eustis, Va.
St. Laurent comes to the brigade after serving as chief of agreements and operations at the Office of Defense Cooperation at the United States Embassy in Turkey. He succeeds Patrick, who will go to Army Material Command headquarters.
The Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command Commander Maj. Gen. Heidi Hoyle presided over the ceremony and recognized that under Colonel Patrick's leadership and guidance, the 597th supported the deployment and redeployment of the equivalent of 30 brigade combat teams and moved over 96,000 pieces of cargo.
"Getting the mission right and being an effective deployment distribution integrator requires a full team of teams," Hoyle said, "Colonel Patrick brought a solutions based, collaborative problem solving attitude to the table and enabled the 597th to bypass any obstacle in its path to enable warfighter readiness."
Patrick was also recognized for implementing the Army's People First initiative and for adapting to the Covid-19 situation and delivering readiness.
During his remarks, Patrick thanked God, Family, Maj. Gen. Hoyle, his deputy, John Hanson, his battalion command teams and staff, Gene Sullivan the deputy Operations Chief, his executive officer Christine Shipley, Command Sgt. Lonnie Gabriel.
"After two years of working with you, our Soldiers, our sailors, Dept. of the Army civilians, contractors and our incredible fourth component, the carriers that project force around the world, you have been everything our Army and our joint force and our Nation has needed you to be and more," Patrick said.
"And you have done everything our Army and joint force has needed you to do. And I am so proud to have served as a Soldier in your ranks."
Then, Patrick addressed St. Laurent.
"You are coming to the best, most diverse and busiest unit in SDDC and I know you will have the time of your life. Congratulations on your selection to lead the 597th. You are absolutely the right person to take this organization to the next level and I'm proud to hand you the colors today."
During his remarks, St. Laurent focused on people. He thanked Gen. Hoyle for the opportunity to lead the 597th Transportation Bde. and thanked the many Soldiers, leaders, Family, friends, military supporters and all those in attendance and watching online.
"Warriors, I look forward to learning from you all and it is an absolute honor to call 597th home. It will be my mission to meet and exceed your expectations. I have giant shoes to fill, I hope that I can be the leader that Colonel Patrick was and make you proud to call me your commander," St. Laurent said.
The 597th Transportation Brigade is a part of the Surface Deployment and Distribution Command, responsible for integrating and synchronizing surface deployment and distribution capabilities in the Continental U.S, deploying and sustaining the Armed Forces off the East and Gulf coasts in support of global operations and U.S. Southern Command.
Additionally, the command stands ready to provide surface rapid port opening capabilities via the Army’s only three Rapid Port Opening Elements in support of its global Joint Task Force Port Opening mission.