FORT CARSON, Colo. – The Iron Brigade bid farewell to Command Sgt. Maj. Kenneth S. Chaney, outgoing senior enlisted leader of the 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, and welcomed Command Sgt. Maj. Nicholas R. Paske, incoming senior enlisted leader of 3rd ABCT, during a change of responsibility ceremony, Jan. 26, 2023, at the William “Bill” Reed Special Events Center.
An audience of Chaney and Paske’s Family, friends, peers and Soldiers waited for the ceremony to begin as music played by the 4th Inf. Div. Band echoed throughout the building.
Guidon bearers representing each battalion under 3rd ABCT lined the room as Staff Sgt. David Yescas, the brigade religious affairs NCO, began the ceremony with a traditional invocation.
Following his remarks and the honors to the nation, it was time for the passing of the colors.
The passing of a unit’s colors is a symbolic act. It signifies the passing of responsibility, command and leadership of a unit from the prior guardian of the organizational colors to their successor. The colors were passed from the guidon bearer to Chaney, then to the brigade commander, and finally to Paske, who returned the colors to the bearer.
Once the passing of the colors was complete, Col. Stephen Capehart, commander of the 3rd ABCT, took to the podium to give remarks.
“Under your leadership, the Iron Brigade has been ready for any assigned mission, against any enemy, anywhere, under any conditions,” Capehart said of Chaney. “You will be missed, but your legacy will live forever in the thousands of Soldiers who you have mentored in this brigade.”
As he finished his remarks, Chaney gave some emotional thanks and farewells to Capehart, his Soldiers and his Family.
“To all the Soldiers of the Iron Brigade, you are simply amazing,” Chaney said. “Everything we do in this brigade rests on your shoulders.
To close out his speech, Chaney left Paske with some words of encouragement.
“Nick, it’s your time,” he said. “Lead the men and women of the Iron Brigade well. They will not fail you nor let you down.”
Amongst the roaring applause following Chaney’s speech, the new Iron Brigade command sergeant major stepped up to the podium.
“To the Soldiers of the Iron Brigade, you have an amazing reputation,” Paske said. “I am honored to join your team, and I look forward to working with you. ‘Iron Strong.’ Steadfast and loyal.”