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U.S. Army-Pacific Public Affairs
FORT SHAFTER — Col. Michael Forsyth took command of the 196th Infantry Brigade from Col. Jack Pritchard, here, July 11.
Lt. Gen. Francis Wiercinski, commander, U.S. Army-Pacific, hosted the ceremony.
“You all look magnificent today — just like everything the 196th does is precise and professional,” said Wiercinski as he addressed the brigade’s formation.
“I am proud of all you have done and all you continue to accomplish,” Wiercinski said. “You are small, but extremely powerful and extremely important to the entire Asia-Pacific Theater. I can’t tell you how many Soldiers these great professionals standing in front have touched and, more importantly, prepared for combat operations.
“It is great to have the (Army Reserve’s) 100th Army Band here from Fort Knox, Ky., for annual training,” Wiercinski continued. “You sound great and you look great.”
Pritchard’s efforts to strengthen bonds with Army Reserve and National Guard units throughout the Pacific have been exceptional, said Wiercinski.
“Jack (Pritchard) will be the next USARPAC chief of staff,” Wiercinski said. “He is the right leader for the job and the right man I need at the headquarters. We are going to harness that experience and talent for the betterment of this entire organization.”
“My first group of heroes are represented by the Soldiers on the field before you,” Pritchard said. “They represent the best training support brigade in the U.S. Army. Their efforts to provide world-class training to our Reserve components across the Pacific have been amazing. Training Soldiers is what they do, and they do it well.”
“We have never served together, but his reputation precedes him (Forsyth),” Wiercinski said. “He is uniquely skilled to lead this complex and distributed organization.”
Forsyth was commissioned into the field artillery in 1988. His assignments include as battalion and brigade fire support officer, and battery and battalion commander.
Forsyth has four combat deployments between operations Desert Storm and Enduring Freedom. One deployment includes as commander, 2nd Battalion, 77th Field Artillery Regiment, during Operation Enduring Freedom, Wiercinski said.
“It is my distinct honor to assume command of the 196th Inf. Bde.,” Forsyth said. “This brigade has the reputation for reliability, high standards and mission accomplishment in all endeavors. The brigade earned that reputation through examples of fine leadership from its noncommissioned officers and officers in planning, preparing and execution.”
The 196th Infantry Brigade trains and validates all USARPAC-assigned Army National Guard and Army Reserve forces to ensure units are fully prepared to deploy in support of overseas contingency operations and other operations, as directed.