Morrison assumes command of Kentucky’s largest brigade

Story by Spc. Brandy Mort, 133rd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

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Col. John Edwards Jr., outgoing commander of the 149th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, receives the brigade colors to begin the symbolic passing of the flag in a Change of Command Ceremony held in Richmond, Ky., Feb. 2. (US Army National Guard photo by Spc. Brandy Mort)

RICHMOND, Ky. — Kentucky’s largest National Guard Brigade embraced more changes as Col. John Edwards Jr. passed the 149th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade colors to Lt. Col. Jerry L. Morrison during a change of command ceremony held at the Armed Forces Reserve Center in Richmond Ky. Feb. 2.

Edwards relinquished command after serving as commander of the 75th Troop Command and the 149th MEB. He has high hopes for Morrison and knows that he will continue to go forward and continue to command the 149th with honor. He also touched on what was next for him.

“This is not the last you’ve seen of me,” said Edwards, “I will continue to do spectacular things for the state of Kentucky.”

To see more photos for the change of command, click here.

Morrison accepts command after serving as the brigade executive officer. As he takes command he is focused on two things, training to gear up for future missions at home and overseas, and leadership development.

“We must maintain and share the lessons we’ve learned,” said Morrison, “And make sure our junior leaders carry on what we’ve taught them. I am focusing on values that they will use within the next couple years and beyond.”

Morrison as the new commander the newest change in the recent evolution of the brigade. The 149th recently moved its headquarters from Louisville, Ky., to Richmond and is adapting to a realignment of units within the brigade. The 149th also welcomed a new brigade command sergeant major as Command Sgt. Maj. Jesse Withers accepted the position earlier this year. Along with Morrison, he hopes to train the junior enlisted and new non-commissioned officers to highlight theses changes and benefit the brigade and the Kentucky Guard.

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Col. John Edwards Jr., outgoing commander of the 149th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, receives the Legion of Merit award from Maj. Gen. Edward W. Tonini, adjutant general for Kentucky, during a Change of Command Ceremony held in Richmond, Ky., Feb. 2. (US Army National Guard photo by Spc. Brandy Mort)

“Reorganizations come and go,” said Withers. “What we need to focus on is future leadership. It is not the leaders, it is the individual Soldier willing and wanting to do their job that makes a strong unit. Our goal is to instill the right values and skills for those Soldiers.”

Keynote speaker for the event, Kentucky’s Adjutant General, Maj. Gen. Edward Tonini, also focused on the development of the lower enlisted Soldiers as a vital priority for the newly refreshed unit.

“I want to salute the new 149th MEB,” said Tonini. “You are all part of a great organization. I know you will carry on the legacy of those before you. “Overall, the success of our junior leaders should be our focus. What we do today reflects the standards set by those who came before us.”

The 149th plans to gear up for two major trainings in the next two years. Morrison says that if it weren’t for the help of his non-commissioned officers, he feels that he wouldn’t be in the position that he is today.

Morrison and Withers look forward to seeing what the unit will accomplish within the upcoming months to exemplify the brigade motto, “Strength and Honor.”

 

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