FORT KNOX, Ky. – Special Troops Battalion, 1st Theater Sustainment Command, conducted a change of command ceremony here, June 24.
Lt. Col. Julio J. Reyes, took command of the unit during a ceremony presided over by Maj. Gen. Michel M. Russell Sr., commanding general, 1st TSC. Russell celebrated the outgoing commander, Lt. Col. Brian Kibitlewski.
“Today we celebrate the Kibitlewski family as we bid them farewell,” Russell said.
The commanding general said that there have been no shortage of challenges during Kibitlewski’s time commanding the STB.
“What BK did, and his command team, along with his Soldiers, was to not only exist here on Fort Knox, but to continue to perform our mission down range. He never missed a beat,” Russell said.
“In the two years that he’s been here, we’ve gone through numerous iterations of challenges. What we did in Afghanistan and what he has done in order to mitigate COVID 19 from this post,” Russell added.
Russell wished him well as he moves on to his next assignment at Headquarters Department of the Army, where he will serve as Explosive Ordnance Disposal Branch Chief, G38 Adaptive Counter-Improvised Explosive Device/EOD Solutions ACES Division, in the HQDA G-3/5/7.
Kibitlewski thanked his wife Michelle and daughter Leah for their support for giving a lot of themselves, selflessly, and with great sacrifice. He also thanked his friends, who he said provided his family with immense strength during this journey.
He described how this ceremony today is far different then when he took command of the STB during the height of the pandemic when we were staffing at only 10% personnel. There were no formations of troops in attendance. There were no friends. Only those directly involved in passing the guidon were present due to restrictions.
“We had several goals as we climbed into the roller coaster of command,” Kibitlewski said.
“Treat everyone the way we want to be treated. Build trust, but always ensure that you verify to build mission success,” he said.
“Build a team as we realize that nothing is accomplished alone.”
“Along the ups and downs and twists and turns, we were able to stay true to those goals.”
The final advice that Kibitlewski gave the Soldiers of STB, “Stay strong. Row hard, and give it your all, as we continue to do our part to support the Constitution.”
After being welcomed by Russell, the new STB battalion commander, Lt. Col. Reyes said, “It is a very exciting day for the Reyes family, and we are truly grateful to embark on this journey to command as a part of First Team.”
“This is an honor and a privilege and I will not take it for granted,” Reyes said.
Reyes arrived here after serving as the brigade S3 for the 597th Transportation Brigade, Fort Eustis, Virginia.
He is married to retired Maj. Amy Armstrong, who served in the Royal Canadian Air Force and is a student at the University of Louisville Branden School Of Law. Together they have five children.