196th Infantry changes command

| July 23, 2010 | 0 Comments

Story and  Photo by
Spc. James Kennedy Benjamin
305th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

From left to right, Col. James George Jr., Lt. Gen. Benjamin Mixon and Col. Jack Pritchard salute for the presentation of colors during the 196th Infantry Brigade change of command ceremony at Fort Shafter, Tuesday. FORT SHAFTER — Service members, families and friends of the 196th Infantry Brigade gathered for a change of command ceremony, Monday, at historic Palm Circle, here.

Col. Jack Pritchard assumed command of the brigade from Col. James George Jr., with Lt. Gen. Benjamin Mixon, commanding general, U.S. Army-Pacific, officiating.

“The 196th Inf. Bde.’s primary mission is to assist with training and mobilization of our Army Reserve and National Guard units in the USARPAC area of operations,” Mixon said. “(George’s) personal philosophy, ‘train each person the way you would want to be trained, if you were going to war the day of the training,’ has served them well. 

“For the past two years, (George) and his team of professionals have distinguished themselves through superior performance and dedication,” Mixon said, adding that Pritchard’s experience makes him more than qualified to serve as commander of the 196th brigade. “As we say thank you and farewell to one terrific leader, we say aloha and welcome to another.”

Shortly after Mixon’s remarks, George addressed the brigade for the last time as its commander.

“It’s always a great honor to be given the opportunity to command,” George said. “The Soldiers of the Charger Bde. train others for a living; they are simply experts at it. You all should be proud of these Chargers. They are world-class trainers of Soldiers, day in and day out.”

After George’s remarks, Pritchard addressed the brigade as its new incoming commander.

“It truly is a privilege and honor to return to Hawaii and the Pacific to command the Charger Bde.,” Pritchard said, whose family lived here in 2004 and 2008. “(The 196th’s) tremendous reputation for excellence in training and mentoring of units preparing for combat, combined with its rich and deep history in service to the Pacific theater, sets this unit apart. 

“Our priority is and will remain to provide professional, high-quality training to support reserve component units throughout the U.S. Army-Pacific,” he said. “I am proud now to be considered among your ranks. As our motto says, ‘Ahead of the rest.’”

The 196th Infantry Brigade was constituted on June 24, 1921, at Buffalo, N.Y., as Headquarters and Headquarters Company for the 98th Division. The unit was redesignated to active duty in 1942, and then inactivated in 1972.

In 1998, the brigade was reactivated to provide dedicated and professional support to reserve component forces throughout the USARPAC area of responsibility. 

Category: News

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