Senior leadership changes at 599th Tran. Bde.

| July 7, 2017 | 0 Comments
Maj. Gen. Kurt Ryan (right), commanding general, Surface Deployment and Distribution Command, passes the 599th Transportation Brigade colors to Col. Michael Knapp, 599th incoming commander, during a change of command and responsibility ceremony, June 27, on the fantail deck of the Battleship Missouri Memorial. (Photo by Donna Klapakis, 599th Transportation Brigade Public Affairs)

Maj. Gen. Kurt Ryan (right), commanding general, Surface Deployment and Distribution Command, passes the 599th Transportation Brigade colors to Col. Michael Knapp, 599th incoming commander, during a change of command and responsibility ceremony, June 27, on the fantail deck of the Battleship Missouri Memorial. (Photo by Donna Klapakis, 599th Transportation Brigade Public Affairs)

Story and photos by
Donna Klapakis
599th Transportation Brigade Public Affairs

FORD ISLAND — A new commander and command sergeant major took the reins of the 599th Transportation Brigade the morning of June 27 on board the Battleship Missouri Memorial, here, in historic Pearl Harbor.

Col. Michael S. Knapp assumed command of the brigade from Col. James M. Smith, and Command Sgt. Maj. Rufus J. Lewis assumed responsibility from Command Sgt. Maj. William E. Funcheon during a combined change of command and responsibility ceremony hosted by Maj. Gen. Kurt J. Ryan, commanding general of Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command.

In his remarks, Ryan praised the brigade.

“Dispersed across the Pacific stands a highly motivated “Surface Warrior” brigade, a formation filled with experts in their deployment and distribution trade,” he said. “They are eager to carry out your orders because they trust you, and I know you will trust them to do their duty, to deliver readiness.

Knapp said he looked forward to commanding the brigade.

“Operating in areas where our adversaries seek to dominate the global commons can be an intimidating endeavor, but it’s one the 599th Transportation Brigade is more than capable of meeting,” he said.

“I will be both proud and humbled to be a part of this formation every step of the way,” he added, “especially as we evolve to meet the demands of the joint force.”

More than 200 people attended the ceremony, including family and friends of the incoming and outgoing commanders; representatives of all military services and representatives from civilian carriers; battalion commanders and sergeants major from the 835th, 836th and 837th transportation battalions; and the commanding general of 8th Theater Sustainment Command, Maj. Gen. Susan Davidson, who is a former commander of both the 599th and SDDC.

Although the combined change of command and responsibility ceremony was a first for the 599th Transportation Brigade, this was the eighth change of command on board the Battleship Missouri Memorial for the unit.

Knapp and Lewis both join the 599th from 8th TSC at Fort Shafter.

Earlier in his career, Knapp commanded the 39th Transportation Battalion in Kaiserslautern, Germany, and 39th Joint Movement Control Battalion in Bagram, Afghanistan, for Operation Enduring Freedom.

After the ceremony Knapp and Lewis also hosted a reception on the fantail deck.

Smith will go to his next assignment as executive assistant to the commander of U.S. Transportation Command. Funcheon will go to G7 Exercise at Joint Base San Antonio, Texas.

Other Army units generously lent support for the ceremony. The 25th Infantry Division provided the Paradise Brass Quintet, the color guard and chaplain, while the 25th Composite Truck Company provided the ushers and a set-up and break-down detail.

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Category: Change of command, Leadership, News, Observances

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