By Sgt. Sheila Holifield, 314th Public Affairs Operations CenterDecember 19, 2012
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- Soldiers and Civilians of the 87th United States Army Reserve Support Command (East) and the 1st Mobilization Support Group took part in a change of command ceremony December 16, 2012 in Birmingham, Ala. During the ceremony Col. Steve W. Ainsworth relinquished control of the command to Col. Pete Bosse.
Ainsworth, chief of staff for the 87th, became the acting commander in September. While in command Ainsworth mobilized one unit, prepared two units for activation, and simultaneously supported the readiness of the eight brigades, 49 battalions, and more than 4,800 Soldiers the 87th supports.
"It has been a successful few months; we were able to set up an Emergency Operations Center and were able to track Hurricane Sandy as it related to our units involved," said Ainsworth. "We formed a mobilization cell to handle all the mobilization orders, and did everything we could to improve the communication to our down trace units."
Commanding General of First Army Division East Maj. Gen. Kevin Wendel presided over the ceremony. Also involved in the ceremony were the 313th United States Army Band, 1st MSG, commanded by Col. Douglas Macmillan, and the 87th Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, commanded by Capt. Joseph White.
"Often these ceremonies are bittersweet; however it's exciting in this case because we retain a great leader as the chief of staff here at the 87th," said Wendel referring to Ainsworth.
He also recognized the Soldiers and thanked the ranks for the support of their leaders, and continued effort to improve the mobilization and demobilization process to better prepare Soldiers for their upcoming deployments.
Wendel described the incoming commander Bosse as an accomplished leader and professional.
"He will assume the dual-hatted role of the 87th commander and the First Army Division East deputy commanding general of support and represent First Army in many forms," said Wendel. "He has had multiple tough assignments, most recently in Saudi Arabia, and we look forward to seeing his great leadership continue here at the 87th."
Ainsworth addressed the Soldiers of the 87th acknowledging their tremendous support.
"Every day it has been about the command and what I can do to help each Soldier in their training, job satisfaction, and promotion," said Ainsworth. "I truly thank you for all you did these past few months and ask that you continue to do the important work that needs to be done to improve and move this unit forward."
After thanking his Soldiers and the distinguished noncommissioned officers, officers, visitors and guests, Ainsworth added he was excited to work with Bosse.
"Every leader brings a different skill set with them, and I think he will be a tremendous addition to our unit," he said. "We [Ainsworth and Bosse] will work as a team to ensure the 87th remains effective."
As Bosse stepped to the podium as the new commander for the 87th, he thanked several of his fellow officers and NCOs for their support throughout his 32 years of service.
Bosse most recently served as the deputy program manager for Office of Personnel Management - Facilities Securities Forces (OPM-FSF) in Saudi Arabia, and prior to that was the commander of the 1st Training Group, 3rd Brigade, 75th Division in Chicago, Ill.. He acknowledged how humbled he was to assume the role of commander and added by working together they will achieve more.
"No matter what capacity you serve in, it always comes back to people, training, and teamwork," said Bosse. "That will be our focus; so we can provide world class support so good that deploying and demobilizing Soldiers will ask for us by name."
In closing, Bosse referenced a famous English proverb that speaks of developing leaders.
"From golden acorns do mighty oaks grow," said Bosse. "Let's grow into mighty oaks together, and by working together, we will achieve more."