Story and Photo by
Staff Sgt. Amber Robinson
3rd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs, 25th Infantry Division
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — Soldiers, leaders and families from the 25th Infantry Division and 3rd Brigade Combat Team gathered on Weyand Field, here, June 28, for a change of command ceremony to bid farewell to the 3rd BCT’s former leader and welcome a new commander.
Col. Richard Kim, outgoing commander of the 3rd BCT, “Bronco Brigade,” relinquished command to Col. Brian Eifler.
Kim had commanded the Bronco Brigade for two years, leading approximately 3,500 Soldiers through an intense train-up and throughout a very successful deployment to the eastern region of Afghanistan. He commanded troops in some of the most treacherous areas of Afghanistan, including the highly volatile Kunar province, home of the Pech River Valley.
Maj. Gen. Kurt Fuller, commander, 25th ID, offered gracious parting words for Kim.
“Under Kim’s leadership, during the last few years, the brigade’s accomplishments have been truly impressive,” said Fuller. “You were the right leader at the right time for the Bronco Brigade. Your expert leadership allowed 3rd BCT to continue its legacy of excellence and write another proud chapter in the history of the 25th Infantry Division.
“Thank you for a truly phenomenal effort,” Fuller said.
Fuller also commended Kim for his efforts during the brigade’s recent deployment.
“The Soldiers of this brigade fought for more than a year in the toughest terrain ever assigned to the U.S. Army,” he said. “The Broncos took the fight to the insurgents while simultaneously working tirelessly to develop the capabilities and confidence of their Afghan partners and providing overwatch to more than 500 miles of shared border with Pakistan. No unit has ever been given a tougher or more complex mission, and the Broncos executed it magnificently.”
Kim offered parting words, but with focus on the “true heroes” of the Bronco Brigade.
“I could not have had the success I did without those of you standing on this field,” Kim said, addressing his former troops. “You are the driving force behind what this brigade has accomplished.”
Fuller also welcomed Eifler, whose previous assignment was as commander, Regimental Special Troops Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, Fort Benning, Ga.
Eifler has deployed numerous times to Iraq and Afghanistan, in support of Hurricane Relief Operations after Hurricane Andrew, and in support of stability operations in Haiti.
“In Eifler, the brigade is getting another proven warrior,” Fuller said. “The Soldiers of the Bronco Brigade can be confident that they have an outstanding new commander, and I am certain of his ability to lead this brigade to an even higher standard of excellence.”
Eifler thanked his successor for the legacy left behind and rallied his new troops for its next three-year rotation.
“Thanks (Col. Kim) for building a great team and leading them to where they are today,” said Eifler in his first speech to his new unit. “To the Broncos, once again we must prepare to answer our nation’s call. But together, we will adapt and boldly continue the mission.”