CAMP WALKER, Republic of Korea — U.S. Army Garrison Daegu welcomed a new garrison commander as Col. Brian P. Schoellhorn assumed the duties as the incoming commander and Col. Edward J. Ballanco relinquished duties during a change of command ceremony at Camp Walker in South Korea on July 12th.
Dozens of local Korean distinguished guests along with Eighth Army and Installation Management Command — Pacific (IMCOM—Pacific) leaders looked on as the unit colors — and responsibilities for leadership of USAG Daegu and Area IV— ceremoniously passed from Col. Ballanco to Col. Schoellhorn.
The ceremony reflected time-honored U.S. military traditions with the orderly transfer of garrison military authority. IMCOM—Pacific Director Craig L. Deatrick hosted the ceremony and provided remarks along with Eighth Army Commanding General Lt. Gen. Bill Burleson.
When Daegu, South Korea became an epicenter for COVID-19 in February 2020—the first large outbreak outside China—actions taken by Col. Ballanco successfully mitigated the spread of the virus and prevented collateral damage unlike many places around the world
“This garrison developed innovative and safe methods to maintain services during COVID-19 restrictions,” said Deatrick. The standard was set here for the U.S. Army by this garrison.”
Ballanco spearheaded the Army’s successful COVID-19 response for Area IV and championed numerous quality of life initiatives during his tenure. Ballanco has served as USAG Daegu commander since June 2019.
USAG Daegu has the largest footprint in Korea, encompassing almost half of the country and supporting approximately 10,000 Soldiers, civilians and their families.
“You’ve done a tremendous job completing countless quality of life projects and you’ve protected the force so that we can protect our mission,” Burleson said. “Today’s ceremony is fitting recognition for two years of selfless service.”
USAG Daegu has the largest footprint in Korea, encompassing almost half of the country and supporting approximately 10,000 Soldiers, civilians and their families. USAG Daegu manages base operations on six U.S. Army installations and 11 sites in Area IV stretching from Daejeon to Busan. Major installations include Camp Henry, Camp Walker and Camp Carroll.
Schoellhorn enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1990 and served as operations officer for the 3rd Infantry Division at Fort Stewart, Georgia from 2019 to 2020. The incoming garrison commander emphasized the importance of maintaining a strong Republic of Korea-U.S. Alliance.
“I vow to do everything I can to support the mission and take care of the Soldiers, family members, civilians and Koreans and that make this garrison a great place to serve and live,” said Schoellhorn.