FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. — Brig. Gen. Sean Crockett relinquished command of the U.S. Army Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear School to Col. W. Bochat during a change-of-commandant ceremony Tuesday on the Maneuver Support Center of Excellence Plaza.
MSCoE and Fort Leonard Wood Commanding General Maj. Gen. Christopher Beck spoke on the “impact” commandants make on their regiments.
“It’s amazing to me the number of past leaders of the Chemical Regiment that are here to celebrate the Crocketts as they depart and the Bochats as they take over the mantle,” Beck said. “The commandant of a U.S. Army school is an instrumental position. Commandants also drive change, within the Army and as a whole, by providing expertise and by guiding doctrine, force development and capability solutions for our Army.”
Beck said the biggest effect the Crockett family had on the regiment was the care they provided, “not only for the Soldiers, but also their families and civilians.”
Beck said under Crockett’s command, the U.S. Army CBRN School trained more than 28,000 Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines, “directly contributing to the readiness of our force.”
Crockett thanked the MSCoE leadership for placing “tremendous faith in me.”
He said now, more than ever, it is important that the Chemical Regiment remain ready and relevant.
“We are no doubt in turbulent times. Here at the CBRN School, ready and relevant are words that we live by as we forge our nation’s volunteers and leaders into disciplined CBRN warriors of character,” Crockett said. “When you take a look at the incredible work this team has accomplished during our tenure together, it is easy to see that this organization consistently operated with unity of purpose, cohesion, trust and a dedication to success I have rarely seen in 28 years of service.”
Crockett’s next assignment is with the Eighth Army at Camp Humphreys, Korea, serving as the deputy commanding general (Operations).
Bochat, the 33rd Chief of Chemical and Commandant of the U.S. Army CBRN School, comes to Fort Leonard Wood from Camp Humphreys, where she was the chief of staff for the 2nd Infantry Division.
During Beck’s speech he welcomed her to Fort Leonard Wood.
“We are honored to have you on our team,” Beck said. “She absolutely has my full support and confidence as she steps into this role.”
Bochat thanked the community for a warm welcome and said she is eager to get to work in her new position.
“The welcome to Fort Leonard Wood and the MSCoE team has been overwhelming,” Bochat said. “What an honor and a privilege it is to train and shape future leaders.”
She pointed out that the ceremony was taking place on the anniversary of the World War II D-Day invasion of Normandy, France — June 6, 1944.
“As I traveled through Europe, Isreal and Korea, I was constantly reminded of how powerful our diverse nation of ideals bound by a constitution really is. Many still speak of our bravery during that day and many other actions,” Bochat said.
She said thinking about, “the enemy’s desire to stop us from what we do best, which is fight and win wars,” keeps her up at night, but it also motivates her to be stronger and better.
“We will face them as a team head on. I promise I will pour my mind, body and soul into ensuring the future is better,” Bochat said.
Bochat enlisted in the Army in the military occupational specialty 35L, or counterintelligence agent, and was commissioned through Officer Candidate School as an alumnus of Jacksonville State University, in Jacksonville, Alabama.
Bochat is also a graduate of The British Higher Command and Staff College, Dwight D. Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy and School of Advanced Military Science.
Her awards and decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters, Bronze Star, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, and Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters, and the Army Commendation Medal with four oak leaf clusters.
More photos from the change-of-commandant ceremony are available to view and download on the Fort Leonard Wood Flickr page.