15th Sustainment Brigade welcomes new commander
Staff Sgt. Casey J. McGeorge,
15th Sustainment Bde. Public Affairs:
Soldiers of the 15th Sustainment Brigade ‘Wagonmasters’ said farewell to Col. James Ryan and his family and welcomed a new commander, Col. Curtis A. Johnson, during a ceremony Aug. 20 on the 1st Armored Division field.
Ryan, who took command of the Wagonmasters in November 2010, has been an instrumental part in the brigade’s action since then, said Maj. Gen. Dana J. H. Pittard, 1st Armored Division and Fort Bliss commander.
“When you look at the accomplishments of the 15th Sustainment Brigade, it’s clear that Jim and his team have prepared this brigade to be fit and ready for anything the nation calls upon them to do,” said Pittard. “After taking command in 2010, Jim immediately moved the brigade to Fort Bliss from Fort Hood. Since then, more than 1,400 Soldiers from nine units and detachments deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan.”
While preparing Soldiers and their families for deployments, Ryan’s leadership was also instrumental in providing first-class support to members of Team Bliss.
“One particular achievement this brigade has accomplished is the impressive Military Pay Office,” said Pittard. “They merged the 4th Financial Management Support Unit with the Defense Military Pay Office. The office went from ‘worst to first’ within about a four-month period.
“Colonel Ryan was adamant about making it the most efficient and effective finance office in the Army – and it certainly is,” continued Pittard.
As Ryan passed the unit colors to Pittard, it marked his final act as commander of the Wagonmasters. This was not, however, the first time he stood across from Johnson during a change of command ceremony.
Ryan was previously the commander of the 173rd Brigade Support Battalion (Airborne) when he turned over the reins of the battalion to then Lt. Col. Johnson.
Ryan took time to thank the Soldiers of the 15th SB for all the hard work and dedication during his time in command.
“The Soldiers in front of you are the best our nation has to offer,” said Ryan. “I am thankful to have served amongst your ranks.”
According to Pittard, even though a great leader is leaving, the Wagonmasters are in capable hands.
“Colonel Johnson will do an excellent job leading this disciplined, sustaining force,” said Pittard. “The Wagonmaster brigade will successfully complete all training and missions in the future.”
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