Kentucky Guardsmen Assume Authority
1 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – The command team of 1st Battalion, 149th Infantry, Lt. Col. Jason Mendez, center, and Command Sgt. Maj. Will Long, right, uncase their battalion colors during a Transfer of Authority ceremony with multinational partners at Camp Novo Selo Mar. 4, 2022. The ceremony was attended by Polish, Latvian, and Turkish elements with guests from other contingents stationed on Camp Novo Selo. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army Sgt. Matthew Damon) VIEW ORIGINAL
Kentucky Guardsmen Assume Authority
2 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Kentucky National Guard Lt. Col. Jason Mendez, commander of Kosovo Forces Regional Command East Maneuver Battalion and 1st Battalion, 149th Infantry Regiment, presents the NATO colors to Command Sgt. Maj. Will Long, command sergeant major of 1st Battalion, 149th Infantry Regiment, during a Transfer of Authority ceremony with multinational partners at Camp Novo Selo Mar. 4, 2022. The ceremony was attended by Polish, Latvian, and Turkish contingents with guests from other contingents stationed on Camp Novo Selo. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army Sgt. Matthew Damon) VIEW ORIGINAL
Kentucky Guardsmen Assume Authority
3 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Kentucky National Guard Command Sgt. Maj. Will Long, command sergeant major of 1st Battalion, 149th Infantry (behind flag), uncases the battalion colors during a Transfer of Authority ceremony with multinational partners at Camp Novo Selo Mar. 4, 2022.The ceremony was attended by Polish, Latvian, and Turkish elements with guests from other contingents stationed on Camp Novo Selo. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army Sgt. Matthew Damon) VIEW ORIGINAL
Kentucky Guardsmen Assume Authority
4 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – U.S. Army Col. Joseph Hawkins, commander of Kosovo Forces Regional Command East (right), presents the NATO colors to Lt. Col. Jason Mendez, commander of 1st Battalion, 149th Infantry (left), assuming command of the Maneuver Battalion during a Transfer of Authority ceremony with multinational partners at Camp Novo Selo Mar. 4, 2022.The ceremony was attended by Polish, Latvian, and Turkish contingents with guests from other contingents stationed on Camp Novo Selo. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army Sgt. Matthew Damon) VIEW ORIGINAL

CAMP NOVO SELO, Kosovo - Soldiers assigned to 1st Battalion, 149th Infantry Regiment, Kentucky Army National Guard, conducted a Transfer of Authority ceremony, March 04, 2022. The ceremony was attended by elements of multinational partners from Poland, Turkey, and Latvia, with guests from other multinational military leadership at Camp Novo Selo, Kosovo.

The Transfer of Authority ceremony is a military tradition that represents the hand-over of responsibility from one command to another in order to maintain continuity on the battlefield.

Every command in the Army is represented by a distinctive flag known as “colors." Maj. Zachariah Fike and Command Sgt. Maj. Kevin Mulcahey of 1st Squadron, 172nd Cavalry Regiment (Mountain) entrusted the continuation of their Maneuver Battalion mission to Lt. Col. Jason Mendez and Command Sgt. Maj. Will Long of the 1-149th Infantry Regiment “Mountain Warriors."

The 1-172nd cased their colors to signify the completion of their mission and the 1-149th uncased their colors to signify the assumption of responsibility.

Following this, the Transfer of Authority for the NATO mission where the departing command team, Maj. Fike, and Command Sgt. Maj. Mulcahey, of the departing unit passes the NATO colors to the presiding commander, Col. Joseph A. Hopkins III, and he passes it on to the new commander, Lt. Col. Jason Mendez, and Command Sgt. Maj. Will Long.

Kentucky Guardsmen Assume Authority
1 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – U.S. Army Lt. Col. Jason Mendez and U.S. Army Command Sgt. Maj. William Long uncase their Battalion colors during the Transfer of Authority ceremony with multinational partners at Camp Novo Selo March 04, 2022.The ceremony was attended by Polish, Latvian, and Turkish elements with guests from other contingents stationed on Camp Novo Selo. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army Spc. Alex Hellmann) VIEW ORIGINAL
Kentucky Guardsmen Assume Authority
2 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Soldiers with 1st Battalion, 149th Infantry Regiment (cased colors) conduct a Transfer of Authority ceremony with multinational partners at Camp Novo Selo Mar. 4, 2022. The ceremony was attended by Polish, Latvian, and Turkish contingents with guests from other contingents stationed on Camp Novo Selo. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army Sgt. Matthew Damon) VIEW ORIGINAL
Kentucky Guardsmen Assume Authority
3 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Soldiers with 1st Battalion, 149th Infantry Regiment conduct a Transfer of Authority ceremony with multinational partners at Camp Novo Selo March 04, 2022.The ceremony was attended by Polish, Latvian, and Turkish contingents with guests from other contingents stationed on Camp Novo Selo. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army Spc. Alex Hellmann) VIEW ORIGINAL
Kentucky Guardsmen Assume Authority
4 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – U.S. Soldiers with 1st Battalion, 149th Infantry (cased colors) conduct a Transfer of Authority ceremony with multinational partners at Camp Novo Selo Mar. 4, 2022. The ceremony was attended by Polish, Latvian, and Turkish elements with guests from other contingents stationed on Camp Novo Selo. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army Sgt. Matthew Damon) VIEW ORIGINAL

“In the U.S. Army, the command sergeant major is the ‘Keeper of the Colors’,” said Capt. Patrick Finamore, who was the master of ceremonies. “As the senior enlisted Soldier in the unit they are the spokesman for both the loyalty and concerns of the Soldiers and is the principal advisor to the commander.”

Col. Hopkins addressed the assembly and remarked on the beauty of the ceremony in the pleasant weather conditions, and also in the representatives from the multinational allies present that serve with the U.S. troops in Kosovo. He praised the 1-172nd for their exemplary service and dedication to their mission.

The ceremony ended with the playing of the NATO anthem and KFOR 30 taking command of the ongoing mission in Kosovo, to provide a safe and secure environment in the region and freedom of movement in a fair and impartial manner.

To learn more about KFOR Regional Command-East, visit: https://jfcnaples.nato.int/kfor/rc-east

Follow KFOR Regional Command East on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KFORRCEast