FORT HOOD – A bittersweet moment for the Troopers of the 1st Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Air Cav Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division as GARRYOWEN conducted their first Change of Command Ceremony as part of the Division Cavalry May 11, Fort Cavazos. Col. Tim Jaeger, 1st Air Cav Brigade commander, presided over the ceremony as the squadron bid farewell to Lt. Col. Brennan Speakes and his family while welcoming Lt. Col. John Dolan to the GARRYOWEN family.
“The tradition of a Change of Command provides an opportunity to celebrate, honor and reflect the tenure of one command team and welcome, challenge and pass the privilege of leadership to a new team,” Col. Jaeger said. “When you look at the accomplishments of GARRYOWEN during Lt. Col. Speakes tenure it is clear they remained focused on maintaining readiness while simultaneously conducting no fail missions while forward deployed to Europe.”
1-7 CAV was selected earlier this year to lead the pilot program and serve as the division’s cavalry squadron or DIV CAV. The program was created by the Department of the Army to form how divisions will fight in 2030 and return the squadron to its traditional role within the division.
Speakes led the squadron at the start of the Army’s experimentation efforts at the National Training Center as part of Project Convergence 22, a forward deployment to Europe and numerous field exercises. Speakes’s next assignment will be as the 2nd Infantry Division’s chief of operations in Camp Humphreys, South Korea.
Taking the reigns of 1-7 CAV is Lt. Col. John Dolan who has three combat deployments to Iraq with the squadron. Dolan expressed his excitement to lead the Div Cav into the future of Army training.
“The Saber Team is truly a very good organization that is ready to reach even new heights,” Dolan said. “The Sabers were recognized by the FORSCOM commander for an Army Best Practice for having an engaged leadership team from top to bottom that truly care about their Troopers.”
Ever since the beginning of the program GARRYOWEN Troopers have been testing cutting edge technology that will allow them to serve as the eyes and ears of the division commander during several command post exercises. Leading the way in modernizing and reorganizing U.S. Army forces to support large scale combat operations ensuring the First Team will continue to defend the nation against emerging threats wherever they may be.