By Spc. Sophia LopezJune 16, 2010
FORT DIX, N.J. (June 16, 2010) - More than a 100 local Army Reserve Soldiers and military dignitaries gathered for an assumption of command ceremony at Fort Dix, N.J. June 12 to welcome the new commander of the 77th Sustainment Brigade.
During the ceremony, Col. Stephen Falcone participated in a time-honored tradition known as the passing of the unit's colors. In a symbolic movement, Falcone grasped the unit's flag with both hands, denoting the acceptance of his new role as the 77SB commander.
"I feel very good," said Falcone. "I think this is a great opportunity for me to command one of the best brigades in the command and take them to war. I've been a commander since 2000, so the last ten years, that's all I've done. I love commanding."
While the 77SB has a new commanding officer, the command sergeant major will remain the same. Command Sgt. Maj. Nagee Lunde will continue his role as the 77SB command sergeant major.
During the ceremony, Falcone spoke of the Army as an ever-changing organization. These changes will cause stress, but Soldiers must remember their oath to serve their president and commanders appointed over them, he said.
"When the nation calls, we answer," said Falcone. "This is called selfless service. It is when you decide to do something more for someone else or something else. There is something inside each one of us that tells us there is something more we can do for our country."
The 77SB inherited the lineage of the 77th Infantry Division, once headquartered in New York City. The division served with distinction in World War I and World War II. The brigade is now headquartered at Fort Dix, with a battalion already deployed and the remaining Soldiers schedule to also deploy within a year.
"I think the challenges for the deployment will have to do with the every changing environment in theater," said Lunde. "(Our goals) are to ensure the Soldiers are trained to accomplish their mission individually; ensure that Soldiers are mentally and physically ready for the deployment, and that has to do with their family affairs and such; and ensure the resilience of the Soldier, Soldiers who can conduct full spectrum operations and still come home and be resilient enough to go back to their family lives."
Command Sgt. Maj. Stacey Davis, command sergeant major of the 316th Expeditionary Sustainment Command, headquartered in Coraopolis, Pa., is also optimistic about the upcoming deployment.
"I don't foresee any major challenge in terms of training, personnel or equipment," he said. "The 316th is supporting all their training requirements. They have the right command team in place, comprised of one of the best that we have."
The host at the ceremony was Brig. Gen. Peter Lennon, 316th ESC commander.
"I have total faith and confidence in Col. Falcone," he said. "He is a proven leader from his previous command, and he has the right skill sets as far as logistics and the right personality to be able to lead and manage this unit."