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1-13th Avn. Regt. welcomes new command team

Lt. Col. Romeo Macalintal Jr. assumed command from Lt. Col. Steven Pierce during a change of command ceremony for the 1-13th Aviation Regiment June 13 as Col. Shawn Prickett, 1st Avn. Bde. commander, officiated. (Photo by Sara E. Martin)

Lt. Col. Romeo Macalintal Jr. assumed command from Lt. Col. Steven Pierce during a change of command ceremony for the 1-13th Aviation Regiment June 13 as Col. Shawn Prickett, 1st Avn. Bde. commander, officiated. (Photo by Sara E. Martin)

Published: June 19, 2014

FORT RUCKER, Ala. (June 19, 2014) -- A centuries-old tradition was carried out on Howze Field in a change of command and responsibility ceremony for the Swift and Deadly unit June 13.

Lt. Col. Romeo Macalintal Jr. assumed command from Lt. Col. Steven Pierce, and Command Sgt. Maj. Ronald Graves assumed responsibility from Command Sgt. Maj. Jason Palfreeman by the ceremonial passing of the unit colors and NCO Sword respectfully, during a change of command and responsibility ceremony for the 1th Battalion, 13th Aviation Regiment.

In his remarks, Col. Shawn Prickett, 1st Aviation Brigade commander, lauded Pierce and Palfreeman for their dedication to duty and mission during their time as the senior leaders for the unit.

“They have led a cohesive team with multiple, diverse missions over 1,000 men and women, Soldiers and civilians, U.S. and international Soldiers, permanent party and students, directorates, cadre, military police and firemen,” he said. “They shaped this organization into a team and into a Family.”

Prickett then spoke about the numerous accomplishments the two leaders had achieved, which included enabling a disciplined initiative from their team, developing the leaders in their battalion and being successful while constantly being scrutinized by their units.

“As advanced individual training commanders they were under the microscope 24/7 with hundreds of enlisted Soldiers looking at them, watching their every move – emulating them,” he said. “Much of what they do on a daily basis is a thankless responsibility with little glory and few accolades, but this battalion and these leaders bear it as a badge of honor, and they take pride knowing they have made a difference.”

And the colonel welcomed Macalintal and Graves to the Fort Rucker team.

“We are glad to have both of these great leaders and Families. The unit will often consume you, but it will be some of the best times of your lives. Enjoy serving this unit together,” he concluded.

The newcomer commander said he appreciated all the help he’s received in making his transition from Yongsan, Republic of Korea, to Fort Rucker.

“The challenges of a return from an overseas assignment are significant, no matter what job is next,” said Macalintal. “(Pierce), thank you for being a generous host and a trusted friend that has really set the conditions for this battalion as the command team changes over.”

Macalintal continued by saying that he and the new command sergeant major were eager to lead the unit, build relationships and strengthen partnerships with other units and the surrounding local community.

“The Soldiers and leaders standing before you represent an elite group of staff, trainers and support personnel that (Graves) and I are absolutely honored to lead,” he said. “It is something that I have always wanted. Its hard to do, but I am glad I have been given the opportunity to lead Soldiers.”

Macalintal has not been stationed at Fort Rucker since he graduated flight school in 1995, but said he was happy to be back at “Mother Rucker.”

“It’s always good to come back to a place like this because you will constantly bump into friends,” he said. “It’s one of those bases where you will run into and work with people you know. I am looking forward to that.”

This article was originally published at http://www.army.mil/article/128483/

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