By Spc. Jesus J. Aranda, 25th Infantry Division Public Affairs OfficeJanuary 22, 2010
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii - "Tropic Lightning" Soldiers, and an audience of family, guests and well-wishers, gathered at 25th Infantry Division Headquarters as the command responsibility for the 25th Special Troops Battalion, an element of the 25th Inf. Div. responsible for many of the logistical, technical and combat successes of the division's recent deployment to Iraq, was handed over from the STB commander to his successor.
Hundreds of supporters for both Lt. Col. Paul D. Romagnoli, the incoming 25th STB commander, and Lt. Col. Eric J. Angeli, the outgoing battalion commander, attended the battalion change of command ceremony on Sills Field at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, Jan. 19.
Representatives of the 25th Inf. Div., including Col. Thomas P. Guthrie, 25th Inf. Div. chief of staff, spoke highly of the service Angeli and his family provided for the Soldiers and families of the STB, both at home and while deployed.
"He was the first battalion commander in the Army to prepare, train and deploy an STB under the new transformation model," said Guthrie of Angeli's contribution to the STB during the division's first deployment to northern Iraq in 2006. "During his train-up and preparation for the deployment, Eric and his team were literally writing the book on how to prepare an STB for combat."
Angeli addressed his audience of supporters and the formation of Soldiers, thanking all for the success of the battalion.
"The people who deserve the credit stand before us and sit in the seats today," Angeli said during his speech. "They are an incredible group of leaders and we owe every success to them."
Guthrie also took to opportunity to welcome Romagnoli and his family to the island and wish him well in his new command position.
"Paul is a known commodity in the division and we are fortunate to have a leader of his caliber to take us to new levels," said Guthrie.
Speaking to the formation of STB Soldiers, Romagnoli emphasized the importance of the battalion's war-training and support of one another, vowing to continue to enforce the STB's standard of success.
"I know of no other place I would rather be than taking our place in the history of this outstanding organization," said Romagnoli. "I know our mission is complex, but if we stick with the basics of training and maintaining ourselves, our equipment, developing our subordinate leaders, and always caring for our Soldiers and families, there is nothing we will not be able to accomplish - anytime, anywhere."