138th Fires Brigade hands the guidon to the new Commander

Story and Photos by Staff Sgt. Steve Tressler, 138th Fires Brigade Public Affairs Officer

Lt. Col. Brian Wertzler officially takes command as the new 138th Brigade Commander from Col. Rondal Turner as Maj. Gen. Lonnie Culver ceremonially passes the Brigade guidon to him at Fort Knox, Ky., Oct. 15.

FORT KNOX, Ky. — Lt. Col. Brian F. Wertzler assumed command of the 138th Fires Brigade from the outgoing commander, Col. Rondal L. Turner at a change-of-command ceremony at Fort Knox, Ky., Oct 15.

The ceremony was attended by several dignitaries including Brig. Gen. Mike Richie and Maj. Gen. Lonnie Culver, deputy adjutant general for Kentucky. Many family members and friends were also in attendance as the 138th Soldiers said a final goodbye to the outgoing commander and Command Sgt. Major Joey Simpson and welcomed the new commander and Command Sgt. Major Thomas E. Chumley.

Wertzler, a field artillery officer, assumed this command after completing his tenure as the commander of the 2 battalion 138th Field Artillery.

Col. Rondal Turner prepares to relinquish his command to Lt. Col. Brian Wertzler as Maj. Gen. Lonnie Culver presides over the event at Fort Knox, Ky., Oct. 15.

“I am honored and humbled to be your commander and together we will accomplish whatever mission lies ahead,” said Wertzler. “My life revolves around my family and I will be mindful of your time as I know you all have families of your own.”

Wertzler went on to thank  his wife Jennifer, and many commanders that preceded him and served as his mentors, as well as enlisted Soldiers that he says, “keep the unit moving forward with the their leadership and hands-on training of Soldiers.”

Turner and Simpson were awarded the Legion of Merit and the Kentucky Distinguished Service Medal for their contributions to the National Guard over a career of service. Both are retired now.

Army ROTC Cadet Mary Speer presents outgoing 138th Fires Brigade Commander Col. Rondal Turner with an expended 105 milimeter Howitzer Shell for his service to the Brigade at Fort Knox, Ky., Oct. 15.

As the ceremony concluded many attendees made their way to the reception area for cake and punch to celebrate with the brigade leadership. As the former leaders depart and the new ones step into place, it serves as a reminder that the Army indeed, goes rolling along.

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