On Saturday, 14 May I had the honor and pleasure of attending the Assumption of Command Ceremony for the 14th PSYOP Bn held at the new US Army Reserve Center at Moffett Federal Airfield, CA. While the circumstances leading up to the ceremony were not positive, the fact that a new CDR has taken charge in a public ceremony in front of his troops should be comforting to all.
Photo Source: http://www.psywarrior.com/psyopcrests.html
In this case it was especially satisfying to me personally because the new Commander was a LT in the 12th PSYOP Bn during my Command tenure. I have had the privilege of mentoring many people young in the careers in both the military and commercial sectors. While commercial success is certainly laudable, it does not come with the emotional high that is attached to being asked to Command in the military.
There is more than a certain pride that accompanies the new Commander as he or she strides out to the center of the parade field and receives the guidon of his new unit from the Command Sergeant Major. The moment is marked with determination, satisfaction and emotion and signals to everyone that this is the new boss who is now responsible for everything the unit does or fails to do. Commercial bosses may get their bonuses trimmed or stock options cancelled or even fired, but they are not likely to be in a position where they routinely decides who will be put in harm’s way.
Military Commanders today, whether active duty, reserve or national guard are making these decisions as they fill their rosters of personnel destined for Afghanistan, Iraq or future conflicts. Commanders at Battalion and above are normally selected by a Command Selection Board of senior officers, being selected is an achievement, but it is not a guarantee for success.
To the New Commander: Best Wishes and God Speed!