POWIDZ AIR BASE, Poland – Soldiers assigned to the 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade, supporting the 4th Infantry Division, gathered in a Polish C-130 aviation hangar for a change of command ceremony between Col. Eric Vanek, the outgoing 3rd CAB commander, and Col. Ryan Sullivan, the incoming 3rd CAB commander, as well as an assumption of responsibility ceremony for Command Sgt. Maj. Jason Adkinson, the incoming 3rd CAB command sergeant major on June 10, 2023.
The ceremony began with the singing of the National Anthem followed by a flyover made up of two UH-60 Blackhawks and AH-64 Apaches. Afterward came the official changing of command and passing of the unit colors, a tradition dating back to 1775 that allows members of a unit to officially recognize the authority of the incoming commander and honor the service of the outgoing commander.
“The formation standing before you today is the most modernized, most lethal, most ready combat aviation brigade in the world,” Vanek said. “We are resolute in our commitment to the Atlantic Resolve mission, assuring our Allies, deterring those that threaten freedom and reinforcing NATO’s eastern flank. I am truly humbled to have been a part of this team for the past two years.”
After officially taking command, Sullivan had the opportunity to address the Falcon brigade for the very first time.
“Your reputation and performance since arriving in theater are simply unmatched,” Sullivan said. “I am humbled by this opportunity to serve alongside you and look forward to proving myself each and every day.”
During the ceremony, Adkinson officially assumed responsibility of the brigade by accepting the unit colors from Sullivan. As the senior noncommissioned officer for the brigade, Adkinson advises the commander on all issues related to members in the command and develops and leads enlisted service members.
“To the officers, NCOs and Soldiers of the 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade, Ohana,” Adkinson said. “I stand here before you today not just as a Command Sergeant Major but as your Command Sergeant Major. I am proud to assume the role of Falcon 7 and together continue to build our legacy as a well-disciplined organization with a drive to accomplish any mission placed in front of us.”