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The 198th Infantry Brigade has installed a new command team on Sand Hill. Col. Jonathan Neumann assumes the commanders role from Col. Bruce Parker, while Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Evans replaces Command Sgt. Maj. Richard Weik in the senior enlisted slot. A ceremony took place Wednesday on Kanell Field.
Maj. Gen. H. R. McMaster, the Maneuver Center of Excellence and Fort Benning commanding general, was the reviewing officer. He said the occasion offered an opportunity to celebrate the brigades exceptional performance the past two years while welcoming two distinguished Army leaders.
This is the brigade that trains Infantrymen in the skills necessary to fight and win in the complex environments were operating in and against the determined enemies were confronting, he said. As we see every day in Afghanistan, no matter what technological capabilities we develop, the battle will ultimately depend on the courage, stamina, discipline and skill of the combat Soldier Soldiers who have volunteered for military service in a time of war.
We owe our volunteers the best training and preparation, and this brigade these professional sergeants and officers deliver that every day.
Evans had been command sergeant major of 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, at Fort Riley, Kan. He served with the 82nd Airborne Division during the Gulf War and has deployed multiple times to Iraq and Afghanistan. Hes a recipient of the Bronze Star Medal with V device for valor.
Neumann, who arrives at Fort Benning after attending the U.S. Army War College in Pennsylvania, said the command sergeant majors reputation precedes (him) in the Army.
The brigade and I are very fortunate to have (Evans) come in this summer as well, the new commander told the audience. While at the War College this past year, I had multiple classmates who came up to me saying Id get to team up with a fantastic command sergeant major.
Neumann is a 1989 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Hes led Soldiers in Airborne, light, mechanized and Stryker Infantry formations. Neumann has deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan and also took part in Florida disaster-relief efforts after Hurricane Andrew in 1992 early in his career.
Im really excited to take command, he said. You always want to assess the unit but get to know your people and the mission inside and out so we can maintain the great standards that have been set here already.
The No. 1 thing well do in the brigade is provide the right guidance and resources so these great drill sergeants and cadre members can continue to do what theyre doing and train these young Soldiers. Thats the main thing for us so they have what they need to execute the great responsibility theyve been given. Parker, whose came to the brigade in June 2010, is headed back to Fort Bragg, N.C., where hell serve as operations officer for the 18th Airborne Corps.
Its been under the leadership of Col. Bruce Parker that this team has inspired Americas newest Soldiers to embrace our warrior ethos and our Armys values, McMaster said. (His) legacy is strong, its impressive and its hard to imagine even. A 27-year Army veteran, Parker led Soldiers in combat at the company and battalion levels in Panama, Iraq and Afghanistan. Collectively, hes spent almost four years on Middle East deployments.
As commander of the 198th, he entered the Sand Hill Combatives Tournament on two occasions, winning the lightweight title at age 50 before finishing as runner-up in the welterweight division this past spring.
As is often the case, we tend to focus these ceremonies just on the commanders, but it should be on the unit, Parker said. The strength and success of this brigade lies squarely on the backs of those standing to your front our drill sergeants and cadre members. I want to take this time to publicly recognize their hard work in training our next generation of warriors.
I know I had a reputation for being difficult but it was never personal. It was about them, and nothing more. I hope youll walk away today knowing that I did care very much.