Story and Photo by
1st Lt. Grant Taulbee
130th Engineer Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — Col. Diana Holland took command of the 130th Engineer “Sappers In” Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, from Col. Jeffery Milhorn, here, July 11.
Holland is the first female Soldier to command an active component engineer brigade.
Under Milhorn’s command, the “Sappers In” brigade served as the theater engineer brigade in the Pacific Command area of responsibility.
As such, the brigade provided combat engineering, construction engineering, geospatial engineering, and dive operations to support more than 30 Theater Security Cooperation Program exercises. Also, the brigade supported multiple deployments in support of operations New Dawn and Enduring Freedom.
“Anyone in the Engineer Regiment has heard of Jeff — he has a tremendous and exceptional reputation,” Holland said. “It is truly a privilege to know him and travel in his footsteps.”
Maj. Gen. Stephen Lyons, commander, 8th TSC, presented Milhorn with the Silver Order of the de Flurry medal and the Legion of Merit in recognition of his performance.
“Everyone who speaks of the 130th Engineers, speaks of them with high regard, and that’s due to the outstanding leadership in this organization,” Lyons said.
Lyons went on to affirm his full confidence in the new commander’s ability to not only sustain, but also improve upon the high standard of leadership.
Milhorn thanked the Soldiers and families for their “tireless efforts” contributing to the high performance and ability to provide “technical expertise and tactical prowess (to) anyone we support, anytime, anywhere.” He also commended the incoming commander.
“It is with tremendous pride that I change command with one of the Army’s very best command teams, Col. Diana and James Holland,” said Milhorn after passing the colors. “The Army certainly got it right when they selected you as the next team to lead this tremendous organization.”
Holland now dons the 130th Eng. Bde. patch for the second time in her career. She served as a company executive officer and battalion assistant operations officer in the 94th Eng. Combat Battalion, 130th Eng. Bde., when the brigade was located in Germany.
The brigade has since relocated to Hawaii. It officially uncased its colors at Schofield Barracks, Oct. 23, 2008.
Holland concluded the ceremony by expressing honor and humbleness in joining the team of Soldiers and families of the brigade.
“You have worked hard and enjoy a strong reputation far and wide,” she said. “I look forward to serving with you.”