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5th Special Forces holds Change of Command ceremony at Fort Campbell

 

5th Special ForcesFort Campbell, KY – On Friday, July 12th, 2019 Soldiers, Family members and friends of 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne) gathered at Fort Campbell Kentucky for a change of command ceremony on Gabriel Field.

During the ceremony, Col. Lewis Jay Powers relinquished command of 5th SFG (A) as he passed the Group’s colors to Col. Joseph W. Wortham. The passing of the colors is an Army tradition symbolizing the passing of responsibility from one commander to another.

Maj. Gen. Edwin J. Deedrick Jr., the commanding general of 1st Special Forces Command (Airborne), hosted the ceremony, shared with the audience his observations about the two commanders, and thanks the Soldier’s families, past and present, of 5th SFG (A).

Maj. Gen. Edwin J. Deedrick Jr., the commanding general of 1st Special Forces Command (Airborne), passes the 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne) colors to Col. Joseph W. Wortham, 5th SFG (A) commander, during the 5th SFG (A) change of command ceremony at Fort Campbell, Ky., July 12, 2019. (SSG Iman Broady-Chin, 5th SFG(A) Public Affairs)

Maj. Gen. Edwin J. Deedrick Jr., the commanding general of 1st Special Forces Command (Airborne), passes the 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne) colors to Col. Joseph W. Wortham, 5th SFG (A) commander, during the 5th SFG (A) change of command ceremony at Fort Campbell, Ky., July 12, 2019. (SSG Iman Broady-Chin, 5th SFG(A) Public Affairs)

“On this day I really think it’s appropriate that we thank the Powers family, we welcome in the Wortham family, and we thank all the families that are here,” said Deedrick.

“Under Jay’s watch the Soldiers along with our allies defeated the Islamic State, liberated tens of thousands of people who endured the brutality of ISIS, and lived up to the noble task and purpose that we have of De Oppresso Liber, liberate the oppressed,” Deedrick said.

He also stressed the importance of investing in the future of U.S. Army Special Forces and 5th Group’s role in shaping the force.

“Jay has ensured that this Group and all the groups will have new generations of Green Berets that are properly trained and resourced to respond to the next challenges in the future,” said Deedrick.

Col. Lewis Jay Powers, outgoing commander of the 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), speaks to Soldiers, family members and friends during the 5th SFG (A), during the 5th SFG (A) change of command ceremony at Fort Campbell, Ky., July 12, 2019. (SSG Iman Broady-Chin, 5th SFG (A) Public Affairs)

Col. Lewis Jay Powers, outgoing commander of the 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), speaks to Soldiers, family members and friends during the 5th SFG (A), during the 5th SFG (A) change of command ceremony at Fort Campbell, Ky., July 12, 2019. (SSG Iman Broady-Chin, 5th SFG (A) Public Affairs)

“Jay your courage, compassion, outstanding leadership, you delivered – you delivered in spades,” continued Deedrick. “Thanks for your service to this Group, the 1st Special Forces Command and this Nation.”

Deedrick then praised Wortham’s character and welcomed him and his family to 5th SFG (A).

“Joe I challenge you to build upon the success of your predecessor. Continually seek out opportunities to expand the capabilities and influence of this unit,” said Deedrick. “You’re the right guy at the right time, and I know you’re going to do fantastic.”

Stepping back from the podium, Deedrick and Powers shared an embrace and handshake before Powers spoke to the crowd. Powers discussed first arriving to 5th SFG (A) as a younger Green Beret.

“I regularly saw Legion Soldiers do the amazing, act with courage and bravery under fire, and walk into danger as though they were just going to the office,” Powers said.

Powers listed the accomplishments of 5th SFG (A) Soldiers and the relationships built with host nation communities across the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility.

“It has been an honor and a privilege to be counted among the Soldiers of this group, because they are examples of the good men and women that are willing to do something to stop the triumph of evil,” Powers said.

Powers ended his speech by thanking his wife, parents and mentors and welcomed the Wortham family to 5th SFG (A).

“As hard as it is to leave, I am comforted with the knowledge that the group is in absolutely the best hands,” Powers said.

Col. Joseph W. Wortham, commander of the 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), salutes his formation during the closing of the 5th SFG (A) change of command ceremony at Fort Campbell, Ky., July 12, 2019. (SSG Iman Broady-Chin, 5th SFG (A) Public Affairs)

Col. Joseph W. Wortham, commander of the 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), salutes his formation during the closing of the 5th SFG (A) change of command ceremony at Fort Campbell, Ky., July 12, 2019. (SSG Iman Broady-Chin, 5th SFG (A) Public Affairs)

Wortham is no stranger to Special Forces leadership. Wortham served as a troop commander, deputy operations officer, squadron commander, and deputy commander with 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta.

“To the members of the Legion, I just want to say I am humbled to join your ranks today,” said Wortham. “5th Special Forces Group has been at the tip of the spear for the nation for over the past sixty year…The Nation will continue to ask us to do the same, and we must be lethal and ready to answer the call.”


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