U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Fort Worth District, held an assumption of command ceremony for incoming commander, Col. Calvin A. Kroeger, before a packed room, Aug. 3, 2023, at the Fort Worth Club.
During the ceremony, the district flag, or colors as they are known, were passed from the deputy district engineer, Arnold “Rob” Newman, to the officiating officer, Col. James “Brooks” M. Schultze, deputy commander of the Southwestern Division. Schultze then presented the colors, which symbolized the transfer of command, to Kroeger.
Kroeger returned the colors to Newman, his senior civilian advisor, to complete a traditional act with roots to the Army’s first Manual of Ceremonies, known as The Blue Book, written in 1779.
Distinguished guests for the ceremony included Kroeger’s family and invited friends, joined by Congressman Marc Veasey, Texas 33rd District, other members of congressional staff within the region, local elected leaders, former district commanders and commanders of other districts within the Southwestern Division, and stakeholders from the many projects that the Fort Worth District manages.
Kroeger assumed command of the district from Col. Paul B. Culberson and Maj. Joshua M. Haynes, who had led the district through several transitional periods since December 2022. Haynes returned to his assignment as the deputy commander of the Fort Worth District.
In his remarks, Schultze thanked Haynes for his leadership and for holding down two jobs as the district's deputy commander, and as the acting commander.
“Josh, along with other senior district leaders, have all served in an exemplary manner to keep the district’s missions on track,” Schultze said. “We’re all very appreciative of their steady leadership.”
Schultze went on to welcome Kroeger, saying that being selected to command doesn't just happen by accident.
“The right candidate is a leader of high integrity, that lives the Army Values, and has also demonstrated proficiency as a consummate team-builder, communicator, strategist, life-long learner, along with a vast work ethic,” Schultze said. “Cal, you have proven accomplishments in all these roles - and you are the right leader for command of this vitally important district.”
As commander of the district, Kroeger will manage a team of more than 1200 military and civilian engineering and services professionals, at one of the Corps of Engineers’ largest military construction programs on Army and Air Force installations in Texas and parts of Louisiana.
He will also supervise the operation and maintenance of the district’s 25 lakes and reservoirs, which furnish approximately 30 percent of the state’s surface water supply and provide outdoor recreation opportunities for millions of visitors annually.
This is not Kroeger’s first assignment in the state of Texas, as his very first military assignment more than 22 years ago was to Fort Cavazos.
“One thing that hasn’t changed is the hospitality of Texans, and the genuine welcome we’ve received here in Fort Worth,” said Kroeger.
“Many of you don’t know this, but our family adamantly selected Fort Worth District as our No. 1 preference for command above the 78 other opportunities across the Army,” Kroeger told the audience. “After being here only for a few days, I know we made the right choice, and we are truly humbled to be part of this amazing family of professionals.”
Kroeger closed out his comments with a promise to the district workforce.
“As your commander, I will not ask you to do anything which I will not roll up my sleeves and do alongside you to achieve success,” he said. “I am with you each step of the way as we deliver excellence for our partners and our communities. Essayons!”
To view the livestream video of the ceremony, go to the SWF Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/usacefortworth/videos and to read Col. Kroeger’s full official biography, go to the Fort Worth District website: https://www.swf.usace.army.mil