FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. — Col. Adam Hilburgh relinquished command of the 3rd Chemical Brigade to Col. Fredrick Parker during a ceremony July 8 on Gammon Field.
The reviewing officer for the ceremony was Col. Sean Crockett, U.S. Army Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear School commandant.
Crockett, who served as 3rd Chemical Brigade commander prior to Hilburgh, spoke on what he called “déjà vu.”
“It feels a bit like I have been here before,” he said. “For those of you not familiar with Col. Hilburgh and my history together, it was a little over two years ago that I passed the 3rd Chemical Brigade colors to him just down the street at Nutter Field House.”
Crockett noted he also relinquished command of the 23rd CBRNE Battalion at Camp Stanley, Korea, to Hilburgh in 2014.
“Needless to say, Adam and I have plowed some of the same ground over the years,” he said, adding, “with every formation Adam has led, he takes the solid foundation of discipline, standards, tough and rigorous training, leader development, and care for Soldiers and families generated by the previous command team, then mashes the accelerator to rapidly improve on that foundation and take that formation to unimaginable accomplishments.”
Under Hilburgh’s 24-month command, the brigade conducted Basic Combat Training and Advanced Individual Training for more than 40,000 Soldiers. Crockett added that Hilburgh’s team also took on several initiatives, including the Army Combat Fitness Test rollout; a program called Deliberate Toughening — the brigade’s effort to reduce attrition among trainees — and Sexual Harassment and Assault Response and Prevention, or SHARP, Academy.
“While the accomplishments are amazing in and of themselves, they become more significant with an understanding that over 12 months of these initiatives were accomplished under pandemic conditions — truly remarkable,” Crockett said. “Adam, I want to personally thank you for your character, your competence and for always setting the right example for our junior leaders and Soldiers to emulate — job well done.”
To Parker, who arrived here from his previous assignment as commander of the Atlanta Recruiting Battalion, Crockett offered his congratulations on the new opportunity.
“The (Maneuver Support Center of Excellence) and CBRN leadership are glad to have you join the team,” Crockett said. “You have a wealth of experience … know that you have my trust, confidence and support. We’re excited to integrate you and leverage your leadership during your command tour.”
Hilburgh, who will remain at Fort Leonard Wood for his new assignment as the USACBRNS assistant commandant, thanked the service members and civilians he served with throughout his command, “who are absolutely committed to the mission, the Army and this nation … I have been honored to serve with each of you over the last two years. I have been consistently amazed by your professionalism and love of service. You are the best of America and the best of this great Army.”
To Parker, Hilburgh said he looks forward to seeing his leadership abilities benefit the brigade.
“Fred and I have been friends since we came in the Army,” he said. “He is a phenomenal leader and I’m so excited to see him take this brigade to new heights.”
Parker called his new assignment “an honor and a privilege.”
“I am so humbled to have this opportunity,” he said. “To the Soldiers of the 3rd Chemical Brigade, I promise to give you my best every day, and I look forward to getting sweaty and dirty with you as we transform the best Americans into American Soldiers. I will do everything in my power to serve as a role model and maintain the type of climate that will foster success. I will work as hard as possible to earn your trust and respect.”