Fort Campbell, KY – The 101st Sustainment Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) held a change of command ceremony on Wednesday, June 20th, 2012, Col. Michael P. Peterman relinquished command of the Brigade to Col. Charles Hamilton before the entire brigade.
Peterman has commanded the 101st Sustainment Brigade since 2009. During his tenure, he provided command and control for four Combat Sustainment Support Battalions, one Special Troops Battalion, Human Resources and Financial Management Companies during their deployment to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. His next assignment will be with the Commander’s Initiative Group at Army Material Command in Huntsville, Alabama.
Before the ceremony Maj. Gen. James C. McConville, the Commander of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) had this to say about the 101st Sustainment Brigade, “I want to say something about the 101st Sustainment Brigade. They used to wear the patch of the 101st Airborne Division and then there was a decision made up higher where they would come up with a new patch, but if you look at their patch, the patch that he proudly wears on his shoulder, the 101st Airborne Division remains in the center, and you’ll see all the maneuver brigades who they support around it. That’s the way they are, and that’s the way they been, and that’s why we are very blessed to have this great brigade and as far as I’m concerned while some people may differ with this. They are Screaming Eagles, and are part of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault)!”
The change of command ceremony is rooted in military history dating back to the 18th century during the reign of Frederick the Great of Prussia. At that time, organizational flags were developed with color arrangements and symbols unique to each particular unit. To this flag and its commander, the soldiers of the unit would dedicate their loyalty and trust. When a change of command takes place, the flag is taken from the outgoing commander and then passed to the individual assuming the command by their superior officer. This gesture is done in front of the unit so that all could see and witness their new leader assuming his dutiful position. He who holds the flag also holds the soldier’s allegiance. This symbolic tradition has survived throughout military history.
The Change of Command Ceremony began by the recognizing of the VIP guests who were in attendance: Major General James C. McConville Commanding General of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) And Fort Campbell, and Mrs. McConville; Command Sergeant. Major Alonzo J. Smith, the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) And Post Command Sergeant Major, and His Wife Sondra; Major General Hawthorne L. Proctor US Army (Retired), and Mrs. Proctor; Brigadier General Gwen Bingham Commandant US Army Quartermaster Center and School; Brigadier General Leslie Smith Commanding General of the 20th Support Command, and Mrs. Smith; Command Sergeant. Major James K. Sims, the Regimental Command Sergeant Major; Colonel Bob Freeman, US Army (Retired) and 2010 Champion of Fort Campbell; Colonel Bill Gayler, Chief Of Staff of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault); Colonel Perry C. Clarke, Garrison Commander of Fort Campbell, KY; Command Sergeant Major Mark Herndon, the Garrison Command Sergeant Major For Campbell, KY. The Invocation was given by the 101st Sustainment Brigade Chaplin Tammie Crews.
Following the Invocation, The Adjutant called out “Sound Attention,” this is a call of alarm during which the soldiers turn out under arms and officially begins the ceremony. The Adjutant then called out “Sound Adjutants’ Call”, this indicated the Adjutant was about to form the brigade. The sound of the trumpets call rippled across the field.
The Adjutant then instructed the band to sound off, which set the 101st Airborne Division Band to parading before the troops.
Lt. Col. Robert W. Eoff, serving as The Commander of Troops for the ceremony; and the brigade staff took their positions on the field. They were saluted by the assembled troops.
The reviewing party which consisted of Col. Peterman the outgoing commander and Col. Charles Hamilton the incoming commander took the field. They were then saluted by the assembled troops.
The Commander of Troops reported to the Brigade Commander, “Sir, the brigade is present” to which Col. Peterman responded “Air Assault”.
Now it was time for Col. Peterman to inspect his troops one last time, as Col. Hamilton accompanied him. The announcer read a history of the brigade. Following the inspection the reviewing party resumed their position in front of the reviewing stand.
At this point in what is the most visually stunning part of the ceremony, it was time for the officers of the units and the various colors to advance to an assembly point; then when they were all in place they were marched en masse to a spot before the reviewing stand where the official handing off of the brigade colors and the command would take place.
The entire brigade then rendered honors to Maj. Gen. James C. McConville, the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) commanding officer.
The brigade and those in attendance then rendered Honors to the Nation, as the National Anthem was played.
Maj. Gen. McConville, the reviewing officer joined up with the reviewing party. Then they marched on the field to pass the brigade colors.
The Custodian of the Colors, Brigade Command Sgt. Maj. Eugene Thomas Jr., the senior enlisted soldier in the unit and principle adviser to the commander then removed the brigade colors from the hands of the brigade color bearer who bearer exemplifies the high standards of discipline, conduct, and military expertise that go with the responsibility of carrying the flag that means so much to his fellow soldiers. Thomas handed the brigade colors to Col. Peterman. Then Maj. Gen. McConville then took them from Col. Peterman’s hands placing them along with the command of the brigade in the hands of Col. Hamilton, who returned them to the Custodian of the Colors.
With the command transferred the reviewing party walked from the field, and a vigorous round of applause broke out.
Then it was time for the speeches, first up was the 101st Airborne Division Commander Maj. Gen. James C. McConville who spoke of Col. Peterman’s time at Fort Campbell and the contribution he and his wife made to the lives of the soldiers under their command. Col. Peterman thanked the families for their sacrifices, and then spoke of his time as commander of the 101st Sustainment Brigade his unending pride in the men who served under his command, as well as the memories that he would take away from his time with them, and Fort Campbell. Col. Hamilton spoke of his confidence in abilities of the soldiers newly under his command, as well as the brigades upcoming deployment next spring when they follow the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) headquarters back to Afghanistan.
Then it was time for the entire Brigade to Pass in Review lead by the 101st Airborne Division Band.
This ended the the ceremony. Friends, colleagues, and soldiers who were previously under his command formed a receiving line each eager for the opportunity to wish the former commander well.
The new commander of the 101st Sustainment Brigade Col. Hamilton took a moment to speak with the media. “I’m just glad to be rejoining the Air Assault team here at the 101st Airborne Division,” he said. “My family is very happy to be here, we’re excited.”
He looks forward to getting to know the soldiers under his command, “We’ve got a lot of training to do as you can imagine. We’ve got to kind of build out a new team, and so I’ve got to get in and assess that very quickly, and then we’ve got to start making some things happen. I am looking forward to getting out training with the soldiers, visiting with the soldiers, as well as visiting with the folks in the community as well, and just getting reacclimated with Fort Campbell.”
When he was done at the receiving line. Col. Michael Peterman came out to speak with the media as well. “There have been Lifeliners in the fight for the last 9, 10 years; and there certainly has been during my tenure,” he said. Col. Peterman recognized the the support of the community is vitally important to the success of the soldiers, “And I really want to thank the local communities Oak Grove, Hopkinsville, Clarksville, and the surrounding areas to include all way down to the Nashville area. They really take care of all of our folks in all of our soldiers because when we turn as much as we been churning we leave our families in the kids in the arms of some really caring communities. So really thanks to them and thanks to all the people who support our team!”
When asked about the memories he would take away with from his time at the 101st Sustainment Brigade, Col. Peterman spoke at length:
We been there for three years and I’ve got so many memories. I was thinking about that last night watching as hundreds of young soldiers leave the brigade were able to give them a coin, and if they don’t take care of everybody to include their commander and all of their squad leaders they’re supposed to give it back; funny, I’ve never gotten one back. So all of those young soldiers are taking care of them.
And then all of the returns, all the times that hanger 7 which all of you been to, and some of these units had in my tenure have done it twice and of some of them have gone a third time, so we continue to go. That is just the kids and families, and being at the top of the Tera Pass and the Salang Tunnel when a convoy come over, or being on the airplane as those bundles leave, or being on the snowy roads with Lifelines I have been out there for 28 of 30 days and have not come back in the wire, the sacrifices of our engineers in Iraq, and all of our folks that were in Kuwait and Iraq. Then you have someone like the 227th Quartermasters that started out in Iraq, went to Kuwait, and then went back to Afghanistan.
The sacrifice of our soldiers. What amazes me is we are very enlisted in record numbers and continue to do so and that some folks across our nation who said that you couldn’t do it with an all volunteer force, well we approved it in this brigade, and in this division that not only can you do it even with nine years of war, but that we are actually thriving and have grown some really good leaders along the way.
And the last thanks really have to go again to the families, the families in the last nine years of combat and particularly our three years of our continual churn, have been the ones who have carried our load. When were away in combat, in kind of an odd way catching rockets or out in harms way, not eating or sleeping very well, we’ve got the easy task!
It’s the kids and moms and dads and brothers and sisters back home who are waiting and watching CNN or reading the local papers who have it tough! And I want to thank them from us and for our nation its incredible what all they do for us!
It was clear from his demeanor as he was speaking about his soldiers that Col. Peterman will dearly miss this time with the 101st Sustainment Brigade. I know they will miss him. We all wish him and his family well!
About Col. Michael P. Peterman
Col. Michael P. Peterman was commissioned as a second Lieut. in the Army Medical Service Corps in 1988
His service includes assignments as Medical Platoon Leader, 2-325th Airborne Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division; Medical Supply Officer, 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne); Commander, Charlie Company and S-Three 426 Th Forward Support Battalion 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault); S-3/863/86 Combat Support Hospital, 44th Medical Brigade; Company Commander 191st Training Support Battalion, Fort Lewis Washington; Chief, Division Medical Operations Center, 82nd Airborne Division; Support Operations Officer and Executive Officer, 82nd Forward Support Battalion, 82nd Airborne Division; Chief of Logistics Information Systems and J-Four Executive Officer, US European Command; and Commander, 782nd Main Support Battalion, Later Redesignated 782nd Brigade Support Battalion, Fourth Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 82nd Airborne Division.
Col. Peterman holds a Bachelors of Arts in History from Weber State University, Ogden, Utah and a Master of Health Care Administration from Chapman University, Orange, California. He is a graduate of the U.S. Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania; US Army command and General Staff College, Fort or Graham Leavenworth, Kansas; U.S. Army Medical Material Agency Internship program, Fort Dietrich, Maryland; Support Operations Course; Army Medical Department Officer’s Basic, Advanced Course, and Medical Logistics Course, Fort Sam Houston, Texas.
His awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal (1 OLC), Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (4 OLC), Army Commendation Medal (4 OLC), Army Achievement Medal (1 OLC), National Defense Service Medal (1 OLC), Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Afghan Campaign Medal (2 Campaign Stars), Global War on Terrorism Service and Expeditionary Medals, Humanitarian Service Medal, Overseas Service Ribbon (Numeral 5), NATO Medal, Combat Medical Badge (2nd Award), Combat Action Badge, Ranger Tab, Master Parachutist Badge, Pathfinder Badge, Air Assault Badge, Military Freefall Parachutist Badge, Expert Field Medical Badge, and Austrian Parachutist Badge.
Colonel Peterman is married to Dr. Katherine Peterman, and has two sons Clyde and Michael.
About Col. Charles R Hamilton
Col. Charles R. Hamilton of Houston, Texas enlisted in the U.S. Army and upon completion of Basic and individual training, was assigned to Fort Hood, Texas. In February 1988, he graduated from OCS as the Distinguished Military Graduate and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Quartermaster Corps.
After graduation from the Quartermaster Basic Course, he was assigned as a Platoon Leader in the to 240th Quartermaster Battalion, and latest selected as aide-de-camp to the Commanding General, Troop Support Command. Following his assignment as aide-de-camp, he attended the Quartermaster Advanced Course. Subsequent assignments include: Company Commander, 305th Quartermaster Company, Korea; Recorder DA Secretariat, HRC; CPTs Assignment Officer, HRC; Joint Intern/J4 Pentagon; Logistics Staff Officer, G-4 Pentagon; Chief of Supply and Services, 101st CSG, Fort Campbell Kentucky; Support Operations Officer and Executive Officer 561st Corps Support Battalion, Fort Campbell Kentucky; Transformation Action Officer, G-3 Pentagon; XO to the Vice Director, DLA, Fort Belvoir, Virginia; Commander DLA-FWD Bagram, Afghanistan; Battalion Commander 498th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, Korea; Office of the Chief Of Staff as Logistics Colonels Assignment officers; and most recently assigned as chief of staff, USFOR-A South/Southwest, Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan.
Hamilton’s Awards include the Bronze Star Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal (Third Award), Meritorious Service Medal (Nine Olc), Joint Service Commendation Medal (Second Award), Joint Services Achievement Medal, Army Achievement Medal (Five Olc), Good Conduct Medal (2 Awards), and OEF Campaign Awards. He Has Also Been Awarded the Army, Joint Staff Badges, and the Combat Action Badge
Col. Hamilton Is Married to Lt. Col. (Retired) Regina Hamilton; They Have Four Children, Chrissy, Charles Junior, Reginald, and Celine.
About the 101st Sustainment Brigade
The 101st Sustainment Brigade Traces Its Lineage and Honors from the 101st 101st Airborne Division Support Command (DISCOM). The 101st Sustainment Brigade Is a Product of the Army’s Modularity and Transformation Initiatives. It Is the First of Its Kind, Formed from the Combining of Two Units the 101st Airborne Division DISCOM, and the 101st Corps Support Group (CSG), First Corps Support Command. The Forward Support Battalion Said the Main Support Battalion of the DISCOM Were Task Organized to the Four Brigade Combat Teams As Part of the Transformed/Modular 101st 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault). The 101st CSG Was Inactivated in the Units Were Task Organized to the New 101st Sustainment Brigade.
The 101st Airborne Division Support Command (DISCOM) Was Constituted and Activated on July 1, 1956 July 1, 1956 at Fort Campbell Kentucky As the 101st Airborne Division Support Group. It Was Composed of the Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment of the, the 426th Airborne Quartermaster Company, the 101st Parachute Support and Maintenance Company, and the band.
On April 25, 1957 the 101st Airborne Division Support Group was reorganized and redesignated as Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, Support Group, 101st Airborne Division. The 426th Airborne Quartermaster Company Became the 426th Supply and Transport Company in the 101st Parachute Support Maintenance Company separated from the group. The 101st Administration Company and company B, 313th Army Security Agency Battalion were added to the group.
Consolidated on February 3, 1964 with 101st Airborne Division Band, the Support Group was reorganized and redesignated the 101st Airborne Division Support Command. Subordinate units where the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, the 326th Medical Battalion, 426th Supply and Transport Company, the 101st Administration Company, the 101st Air Equipment Support Company, and the Band.
Reorganized on August 18, 1967 the unit was redesignated as Headquarters, Headquarters Company And Band, 101st Airborne Division Support Command. On September 21, 1973 the band was reassigned and the unit was redesignated Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 101st Airborne Division Support Command.
In October 1992, the DISCOM was provisionally reorganized into the headquarters and headquarters Company, three Forward Support Battalion’s and one Main Support Battalion , and added that 101st Personnel Service Company, the 101st Finance Battalion, and the band.
On April 16, 1994 the DISCOM was reorganized again and the redesignation became official. The DISCOM consisted of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, the 63rd chemical company, the 426th Forward Support Battalion, the 526th Forward Support Battalion, the 626th Forward Support Battalion, the 801st Main Support Battalion and 8th Battalion, Aviation Intermediate Maintenance (AVIM)- 101st Aviation Regiment.
Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the 626th Forward Support Battalion along with elements of the 801st Main Support Battalion, 8-101st AVIM Battalion and the DISCOM headquarters deployed to Afghanistan supporting the 3rd Brigade Task Force Rakkasan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
From March 19, 2003 to February 15, 2004 the DISCOM headquarters deployed operation Iraqi Freedom, providing combat service support to the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault).
The Brigade was redesignated a final time on April 21, 2005 as the 101st Sustainment Brigade. Subordinate units were The Ordinance Battalion 101st Brigade Troops Battalion, 101st Soldier Support Battalion, 106th Transportation Battalion, 129th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 184th Ordinance Battalion (Explosive Ordnance Disposal), and the 561st Combat Sustainment Support Battalion.
From April 16, 2005 to August 13, 2006 brigade headquarters and other elements deployed again to Iraq as part of operation Iraqi freedom, once again in support of other deployed elements of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault).
From January 20, 2008 to February 16, 2009 the 101st sustainment brigade deployed to Afghanistan the second time as part of Operation Enduring Freedom and as the Joint Logistics Command-Afghanistan supported over 55,000 U.S. Personnel, coalition forces, and civilians spread over the entire Combined/Joint Operations area – Afghanistan. During the deployment the 101st Soldier Support Battalion and 561st Combat Sustainment Support Battalion Were Both Inactivated and the 184th Ordinance Battalion (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) was reassigned to the 52nd Ordnance Group (Explosive Ordnance Disposal).
On November 16, 2012 the brigade headquarters returned for a third time to Afghanistan to provide sustainment support to Regional Command East, Capital, and the North.
Notice the “LifeLiners”, the 101st Sustainment Brigade continues to demonstrate its ability to support and accomplish its missions with both strength and pride confidently reflecting upon its illustrious history as it prepares for its next “Rendezvous with Destiny”.