FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. — The 1st Engineer Brigade held a change-of-command ceremony Wednesday on Gammon Field, where Col. Gerald Law relinquished command to Col. Aaron Bohrer.
Col. Daniel Hibner, U.S. Army Engineer School commandant, was the reviewing officer for the ceremony. He listed some of Law’s accomplishments while commanding the brigade, including training more than 20,000 Soldiers and participating in many community outreach and leader development initiatives.
“You helped to influence, train and recruit the leaders for our future Army,” Hibner said. “You also embraced the role of coach and mentor to the junior officers in your brigade, taking the time to ensure you shared your career's worth of knowledge and experience with those who could most benefit from it. All of these accomplishments are challenging enough, but adding to the challenge, you did it through a pandemic – and with the additional challenge of new fiscal realities. You did it as well as anybody could.”
Law — who moves on to U.S. Central Command, where he will assume the role of division chief for U.S. Central Command’s directorate of logistics and engineering J47 Engineers at MacDill, Air Force Base, Florida — said good leaders inspire their Soldiers.
“However, I also believe that if you develop, empower and trust your Soldiers, they will inspire you,” he said. “That is the core of my philosophy, and the 1st Engineer Brigade made it their own.”
To Bohrer, Law said, “you have a professional team here for you.”
“I know the Army got it right by sending you here to command the 1st Engineer Brigade,” Law said. “You have all the right qualities to lead.”
Bohrer thanked his family and friends, and “all the people in my career who have helped me prepare for this command.”
“To the civilians, Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines, who have taken time to work with me, coach me, teach me and follow me — thank you,” he said. “I would not be ready for this command without your time, effort and investment in me.”
Bohrer, who comes to the brigade from his previous assignment as the operations officer and director of training for the Maneuver Support Center of Excellence here, said he looks forward to leading such a talented group of service members and civilians.
“We have an incredible team of leaders dedicated to training our future military Engineers, and I can’t wait to see where this team takes us as we modernize for the future,” he said.
Hibner called Bohrer “uniquely qualified” for the position, having served here for 12 years at four different Army Engineer battalions, including as commander of the 169th Engineer Battalion.
“You’re joining a phenomenal team, and will no doubt carry on the tradition of excellence of the 1st Engineer Brigade and the Maneuver Support Center of Excellence,” he said. “You’ve already done so much as the (operations officer), and you will continue to build on your outstanding reputation as you continue in this command. You will undoubtedly leave the brigade with distinction.”
More photos from the ceremony are available on the Fort Leonard Wood Flickr page.