Patched In: ARSOUTH Welcomes New Deputy Commander
1 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – U.S. Army South ceremonially welcomes Col. Charles Kean as the new deputy commander during a patching ceremony in the unit’s Daniel Van Voorhis Conference Room at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, on Aug. 22, 2023. The patching ceremony is a tradition meant to welcome incoming leaders to Army South.

(U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. ShaTyra Cox, U.S. Army South) (Photo Credit: Staff Sgt. ShaTyra Reed-Cox)
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Patched In: ARSOUTH Welcomes New Deputy Commander
2 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – U.S. Army South ceremonially welcomes Col. Charles Kean as the new deputy commander during a patching ceremony in the unit’s Daniel Van Voorhis Conference Room at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, on Aug. 22, 2023. The patching ceremony is a tradition meant to welcome incoming leaders to Army South.

(U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. ShaTyra Cox, U.S. Army South) (Photo Credit: Staff Sgt. ShaTyra Reed-Cox)
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Patched In: ARSOUTH Welcomes New Deputy Commander
3 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Jenny Kean, the wife of the incoming deputy commander of U.S. Army South Col. Charles Kean, receives a bouquet of yellow roses during the patching ceremony in the unit’s Daniel Van Voorhis Conference Room at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, on Aug. 22, 2023. U.S. Army South Soldiers, Civilians, and foreign partners ceremonially welcomed Col. Charles Kean and his Family to the unit during the ceremony.

(U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. ShaTyra Cox, U.S. Army South) (Photo Credit: Staff Sgt. ShaTyra Reed-Cox)
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FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas – U.S. Army South Soldiers, Civilians, and foreign partners ceremonially welcomed Col. Charles Kean as the new deputy commander during a patching ceremony in the headquarters’ Daniel Van Voorhis Conference Room, here, on Aug. 22, 2023.

Maj. Gen. William L. Thigpen, commander of U.S. Army South, presided over the ceremony and donned the unit’s storied patch onto Kean’s shoulder.

“We are fortunate to have an officer as talented as Charles joining the U.S. Army South team to help guide us as we work with Central and South American and Caribbean Armies,” said Thigpen. “His technical expertise and leadership experience define his superb abilities.”

Patched In: ARSOUTH Welcomes New Deputy Commander
1 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Maj. Gen. William L. Thigpen, commander of U.S. Army South, presides over the patching ceremony for Col. Charles Kean in the unit’s Daniel Van Voorhis Conference Room at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, on Aug. 22, 2023. Kean was ceremonially welcomed as the new deputy commander of U.S. Army South.

(U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. ShaTyra Cox, U.S. Army South) (Photo Credit: Staff Sgt. ShaTyra Reed-Cox)
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Patched In: ARSOUTH Welcomes New Deputy Commander
2 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Col. Charles Kean, incoming deputy commander of U.S. Army South, speaks during his patching ceremony in the unit’s Daniel Van Voorhis Conference Room at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, on Aug. 22, 2023. Kean was ceremonially welcomed as the new deputy commander of U.S. Army South.

(U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. ShaTyra Cox, U.S. Army South) (Photo Credit: Staff Sgt. ShaTyra Reed-Cox)
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Patched In: ARSOUTH Welcomes New Deputy Commander
3 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Maj. Gen. William L. Thigpen, commander of U.S. Army South, presides over the patching ceremony for Col. Charles Kean in the unit’s Daniel Van Voorhis Conference Room at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, on Aug. 22, 2023. Kean was ceremonially welcomed as the new deputy commander of U.S. Army South.

(U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. ShaTyra Cox, U.S. Army South) (Photo Credit: Staff Sgt. ShaTyra Reed-Cox)
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Kean, a native of Austin, Texas, comes to U.S. Army South after serving as the 5th Battlefield Coordination Detachment commander at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii.

"Army South's ability to enhance security, build regional capacity, and rapidly respond to contingencies directly impacts our homeland," said Kean. "I am excited to join this great team and work together towards those ends."

The patching ceremony is a tradition meant to welcome incoming leaders to Army South.

Proudly displayed with a legacy stitched into the threads, the subdued emblem is highly regarded and instantly recognized by the armies and security forces of partner nations.

The Army South insignia features the Spanish Galleon, which is symbolic to the Caribbean area as it was the ship that dominated during the Spanish regime. The blue background represents the color of the Caribbean Sea. The cross was the insignia of the first explorers to land in the Caribbean area.

Patched In: ARSOUTH Welcomes New Deputy Commander
U.S. Army South ceremonially welcomes Col. Charles Kean as the new deputy commander during a patching ceremony in the unit’s Daniel Van Voorhis Conference Room at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, on Aug. 22, 2023. The patching ceremony is a tradition meant to welcome incoming leaders to Army South.

(U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. ShaTyra Cox, U.S. Army South) (Photo Credit: Staff Sgt. ShaTyra Reed-Cox)
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The strength of the patch’s history can be traced back to when it was originally approved for the Caribbean Defense Command located in Panama on May 3, 1944. It was re-designated twice before making a home at Army South: first for United States Army Caribbean on February 2, 1948, and then for United States Army Forces Southern Command on July 11, 1963. Finally on April 1, 1987, the patch was designated to U.S. Army South, the Joint Forces Land Component Command of U.S. Southern Command.