130th MEB Key Leaders Transition into New Roles
By Army Sgt. Ruth McClary, 130th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade Public Affairs Detachment
CHARLOTTE N.C.- The North Carolina National Guard Band blared in the background as the adjutant sounded, “Attention,” during a change of command ceremony at the Gerald A. Rudisill Readiness Center here, Jan. 8.
The ceremony marked the transition of command for the 130th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade between Army Col. Timothy Houser and Army Lt. Col. Eric Kohl.
“I promised Jim Ernst [former brigade commander] that I would leave the house better than I found it and I believe that we have done that,” said Houser. ”So today I have a time-honored tradition to pass the colors to Lieutenant Colonel Eric Kohl, and all I request of you is that you leave it better than you found it.”
For Headquarters, Headquarters Company, 130th MEB, the change of command is one of symbolism and pride; as rich in history as the brigade itself. The most pivotal moment of the ceremony was the passing of the colors which is the commander’s symbol of authority and represents his responsibility to the organization.
The ceremony began with Army Command Sgt. Maj. Malcolm Calhoun, the brigade command sergeant major, the custodian of the colors and principle advisor to the commander on all enlisted issues and actions. Calhoun passed the colors to Houser for the last time as his last official act as brigade commander.
In a dignified diamond formation, Houser passed the colors to Army Brig. Gen. Elizabeth Austin, assistant adjutant general for sustainment, and then, to symbolize the transference of power, Austin passed the colors to incoming commander, Kohl.
Kohl took command of the brigade after commanding the 105th Engineer Battalion and also serving as a civil engineer of the 30th Engineer Brigade, a unit that was transformed into the 130th MEB in September 2006.
“To all the Soldiers of the 130th, I’m back and we will definitely be hitting the ground running,” said Kohl. “It’s going to be fast and furious and I can’t thank you enough, Colonel Houser, for getting the house set up and getting the key staff in place.”
The commander’s spoke about past accomplishments and new priorities as they both embark on the adventures and challenges ahead.
Battalion and company commanders throughout the brigade wasted no time in contacting Kohl to congratulate him on his new responsibility; an act in keeping with the time-honored transition of authority.
Houser left the troops with this request, “Never apologize for high standards… always keep your head in the game because you never know when the coach may put you in…and please, when you get home tonight, thank your families for supporting you while you supported me.”
After Soldiers of the units sounded off with their respective mottos, “Ever Dependable, Conquer the Impossible, Ready when Called and Disciplined to Serve,” the ceremony concluded with the singing of the army song as a farewell to Houser and a hearty welcome to Kohl.
“Best wishes to Colonel Houser as he moves to his new assignment and to Lieutenant Colonel Kohl as the new commander of the 130th MEB,” said Austin. “God bless the Soldiers of the 130th, the North Carolina National Guard, the state of North Carolina, and the United States of America.”