1st ID brigade among many units changing commanders
June 23, 2005
SCHWEINFURT, Germany — Home from Iraq and with the Army’s stop-movement order now lifted, 1st Infantry Division commands are changing in bunches. Nearly every brigade, battalion and company will have a new commander by summer’s end.
Maj. Gen. John Batiste handed off the division command Monday to Maj. Gen. Kenneth Hunzeker. On Tuesday, Col. Randal Dragon turned over command of the 1st ID’s Schweinfurt-based 2nd Brigade to Col. J.B. Burton.
Dragon grew up in Arlington, Va., and graduated in 1979 from James Madison University. The longtime infantry officer wears a Ranger tab and an Expert Infantryman Badge and has served several tours in Germany. He led the brigade during its recent yearlong tour of Iraq and commanded the force that retook Samarra from insurgents last September. He will become the G3 (Operations) officer with V Corps in Heidelberg.
Burton, of Tullahoma, Tenn., is a 1983 graduate of Middle Tennessee State University. Also an infantry officer, he wears a Ranger tab as well as the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, the Expert Infantryman’s Badge and the Air Assault Badge. During the Gulf War he was a company commander in the 2nd Armored Division’s 3rd Battalion, 41st Infantry Regiment, and has earned a Silver Star for valor. He was the G3 for the 4th Infantry Division during the invasion of Iraq and since last summer has been the chief of the Commanding General’s Initiatives Group for U.S. Army Europe.
Six Schweinfurt-based 1st ID battalions also changed commanders Monday and Tuesday. They are:
Lt. Col. Kyle McClelland turned over command of the 1st Battalion, 7th Field Artillery Regiment to Lt. Col. Michael Griffith.Lt. Col. James Chevallier was replaced as 1st Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment commander by Lt. Col. Christopher Kolenda, who was the division’s rear detachment commander last year and the author-editor of “Leadership: The Warrior’s Art,” a popular book on military leadership.Lt. Col. David Hubner turned over command of the 1st Battalion, 77th Armor Regiment to Lt. Col. Miciotta Johnson.Lt. Col. Steven Pate was replaced as the 299th Forward Support Battalion commander by Lt. Col. Joe Sledd.Lt. Col. Jeffrey Sinclair turned over command of the 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry Regiment to Lt. Col. George Glaze.Lt. Col. Blair Alla Schantz turned over command of the 9th Engineer Battalion to Maj. (P) Glen Masset.One battalion-level change of command is scheduled Thursday. Lt. Col. Frank R. Hall will turn over command of the 101st Military Intelligence Battalion to Lt. Col. Michael Lewis.