By Ms Barbara A Toner (AMC)July 14, 2011
DAEGU, Korea " Col. Michael Lopez assumed command of the 403rd Army Field Support Brigade from Col. Barry Diehl July 8 during an indoor ceremony on Camp Walker.
Maj. Gen. Yves Fontaine, Army Sustainment Command commanding general, presided over the ceremony. The 403rd AFSB is a subordinate unit to ASC, located at Rock Island Arsenal, Ill.
In a ceremony that dates back to the 18th century, Diehl passed the unit colors to Fontaine, who then passed them to Lopez. The passing of the colors, witnessed by the members of the unit, signifies the transition of command to a new leader.
The event took on an international flair through participation by the 36th Korean Service Corps Company, assembled in formation, and the Korean 50th HRD Band, which provided the music.
“This ceremony would not be the same without you,” Diehl said of his host-nation comrades.
“This is an emotional day " but a good day in that I am surrounded by magnificent people in a great nation, the Republic of Korea,” he said
Diehl thanked the leaders, civilian employees, and service members he served with for two years and acknowledged the importance of the Koreans who helped the brigade succeed in its mission. He cited the Korean civilians, Korean Service Corps personnel, and Japanese master labor contractors.
Addressing the brigade for the first time, Lopez thanked Fontaine, Diehl and Diehl’s wife, Preeya, for a warm welcome to the unit.
“To the 403rd, your reputation precedes you " your commitment to the Warfighter is unmatched " your quality of support is outstanding,” he said.
Before the ceremony, Diehl and his wife received several awards. He received the Legion of Merit and a Korean Ministry of National Defense letter of commendation. She received the Commander’s Award for Public Service as well as the Dr. Mary Walker Award and the Helping Hand Award from Eighth U.S. Army.
Diehl is returning to the United States to attend the Army War College in Carlisle, Pa.
Lopez comes to the 403rd from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, where he earned a master’s degree in National Resource and Security Strategy.