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August 1, 2014

New leaders take reins of Blackhorse regiment

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Sgt. Erik Thurman
Public Affairs, 11th ACR

Major Gen. Ted Martin, commander of the National Training Center and Fort Irwin, passes the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment’s guidon to Col. Kevin Jacobi, 66th commander of the 11th ACR during a combined change of command and responsibility ceremony, here, July 1.

Troopers of the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment conducted a combined change of command and responsibility ceremony here, July 1.

During the ceremony, the regiment commander, three squadron commanders, and a squadron command sergeant major relinquished their duties to new leaders.

Colonel John Ward, the 65th colonel of the regiment, passed the unit colors to Col. Kevin Jacobi, the new regimental commander. Jacobi served as director of operations for Combined Joint Task Force, Horn of Africa, at his previous assignment. Ward will become chief of staff for 1st Armored Division, Fort Bliss, Texas.

“I, along with those departing this unit, love this regiment for its traditions, its rich history, but even more so for the people past and present associated with it,” Ward said during his farewell address. “I have heard some people say it’s all about the stories. But I will go one step further and say it’s all about the people – the people who create those incredible stories.”

Lieutenant Col. Frederick Snyder served as 1st Squadron, 11th ACR commander for the past two years. He will become the enlisted personnel directorate chief for Military Occupational Specialties 19K (M1 armor crewmember) and 19D (cavalry scout) at Fort Knox, Ky. Snyder passed the squadron guidon to Lt. Col. Paul Wilcox. Wilcox is joining the Regiment from his most recent assignment as an instructor in the Department of Tactics at the Command and General Staff Officers Course.

Lieutenant Col. Jeffrey Bramlett served as commander of 2nd Squadron, 11th ACR, and relinquished his command to Lt. Col. Shane Celeen. Celeen joins the Regiment from his most recent assignment as a professor of military science at Colorado State University.

Lieutenant Col. Scott M. McFarland served as the commander of Regimental Sustainment and Support Squadron, 11th ACR. He handed over command to Lt. Col. James M. Stephens.

Command Sgt. Maj. Gary Shine served as the senior enlisted advisor at RSS for the past two years. After more than 30 years of honorable service Shine will retire from the Army. He passed the non-commissioned officer’s saber to Command Sgt. Maj. Kenneth Reynolds.

“Having been in this Army for 31 years, I know that it takes strong and inspired leadership to set the conditions that, not only does a unit accomplish its missions, but also truly takes care of its families,” said Maj. Gen. Ted Martin, commanding general of the National Training Center and Fort Irwin. “The Blackhorse command team did just that.”

Ward spoke of the leaders taking command of the Regiment, reminding them that they are not members of a new team, but are new members of a team that has been present since 1901.

“Believe me, our Veterans won’t let you forget that,” Ward said. “I along with those others departing today are honored to say that with you, we rode with the Blackhorse – the best damn Regiment that you will ever see.”

Following Ward’s address, he and Jacobi shook hands before Jacobi took to the podium.

“To the Soldiers and Families, and the friends of the Blackhorse – Kathy (spouse) and I are deeply humbled to be joining the ranks of the most professional, disciplined and formidable outfits on the earth,” Jacobi said. “To you I pledge my service and devotion to duty every day.”




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