‘Gunners’ welcome new commander: Bid farewell to ‘Hawk’
Spc. Jessica Luhrs-Stabile,
1st SBCT, 1st AD PAO:
The 2nd Battalion, 3rd Field Artillery Regiment, welcomed a familiar face as their new battalion commander during an Aug. 19 change-of-command ceremony on Ready First Parade Field.
Lt. Col. Charles “Hawk” Mills, outgoing commander of the “Gunners,” relinquished command to Lt. Col. Paul Weyrauch, who served as the brigade fire support officer for 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, and the operations officer for the “Gunners” from 2005 to 2007.
Distinguished guests of the event included Gen. Walter L. Sharp, Weyrauch’s father-in-law and commander of United Nations Command, Combined Forces Command and U.S. Forces Korea; retired Brig. Gen. Paul Weyrauch, Lt. Col. Weyrauch’s father; and Lucille Pittard, wife of Brig. Gen. Dana J. H. Pittard, 1st AD and Fort Bliss commanding general.
Mills, a field artillery officer with more than 20 years of service, has been the commander of the “Gunners” since August 2009. During his time in command he led his Soldiers through a successful National Training Center rotation at Fort Irwin, Calif., immediately followed by a deployment to Kirkuk, Iraq. He will be continuing as the chief of Training and Doctrine at the U.S. Army Field Artillery Center and School at Fort Sill, Okla.
During Mills’ final speech to the “Gunners,” he thanked them for their dedication.
“I will always remember the ‘Gunner’ men and women who have shown such endeavor and willingness to put themselves in positions far beyond their call of duty,” he said. “You have done what I have asked of you and given so much more. I will never forget your devotion to duty.”
Weyrauch, also a field artillery officer, is a graduate of the Texas Christian University, with more than 15 years in service. Weyrauch has served at Fort Stewart, Ga.; Fort Hood, Texas; the Pentagon; Hohenfels, Germany, and deployed to Ramadi, Iraq. He most recently served as the operational-level joint fires and targeting planner with U.S. Pacific Command’s Standing Joint Force Headquarters, Camp Smith, Hawaii.
“A change-of-command ceremony provides us with an opportunity to welcome a new commander to our ranks,” said Col. Ken Adgie, 1st SBCT commander. “I know [Weyrauch’s] experiences have prepared him to take care of our Soldiers and their families as they prepare for the mission ahead.”
During his first speech as commander of the “Gunners,” Weyrauch assured his Soldiers he will continue the great work of outgoing commander Mills.
“‘Gunners,’ it is truly an honor to be back in Texas and with the ‘Gunner’ Battalion,” he said. “I promise you I will continue the great work of ‘Hawk’ Mills and I thank him for setting us up for success.”
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