Change of Command for the 420th Brigade

The Army Reserve's mission is to provide trained, and equipped Soldiers. In Bryan, the 420th Engineer Brigade has been doing that, but now there is a new leader over these soldiers.

Sunday morning, in a time-honored traditional military ceremony, the Change of Command was passed on to a new man in charge.

After being the man in command, Brigadier General Tracy Thompson passed on the torch and said his good-byes.

"The saddest thing about leaving Texas after six years, three as a colonel and three as a general, is that I won't be commanding soldiers in Texas because it's such a great place to be a soldier and to have soldiers," Thompson said.

Thompson has worked all over Texas; from McAllen to the Pan Handle, even west to El Paso. He will be leaving the Lone Star State to be taking over a new command in Mississippi.

"I am one of the lucky few, for a commander to be leaving command and to be going to another command is very rare," he said.

The new leader in charge is Colonel Kirk Claunch.

"This is a big responsibility," Claunch said. "It's a big responsibility moving forward, brigade of many soldiers in many states, so the responsibility of making sure our reservists are ready when we get our nations call to go and complete the mission."

In order to make sure all soldiers are ready at a moments notice, Colonel Claunch said it takes dedication on many ends.

"We do it by work, hard work, train hard and you get ready for the next mission," he said. "It's not just working hard but planning ahead, thinking ahead and anticipating those requirements your going to need."

Requirements like providing a highly skilled, flexible force that can support the Army when ever they are needed most.

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