facebook   twitter   youtube   youtube  Current News  Flag Lowering Orders  Search

 

sm150208-Z-IM617-003.jpg

One of the Wisconsin Army National Guard's largest troop formations has a new command team at the helm after a formal ceremony in Milwaukee Feb. 8.

The nearly 1,700-Soldier 157th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, known as the "Iron Brigade," bid farewell to outgoing commander Col. John Schroeder and Command Sgt. Maj. Ralph Rosemore after nearly two years leading the brigade. Col. David O'Donahue and Command Sgt. Maj. Daniel Sullivan replaced them.

For their efforts in shaping the Iron Brigade, Schroeder and Rosemore were each awarded the Meritorious Service Medal. Schroeder will become the Wisconsin Army National Guard's next chief of staff, while Rosemore will take over as the operations sergeant major in the 64th Troop Command.

In his final remarks to the 157th, Schroeder thanked his family, the Soldiers and the unit's family readiness group leaders for their efforts.

"I will tell you there is no greater honor that can be bestowed on an officer than to command troops in the Wisconsin Army National Guard or the National Guard," he said. "I've always said that your worst day as a commander will beat the best day as a staff officer any day of the week. Commanding troops is what every officer should aspire to in the Wisconsin Army National Guard."

He went on to praise the brigade's battalion leadership teams and the service of his brigade command sergeant major.

"Command Sgt. Maj. Rosemore, I could not have asked for a better battle buddy for the past couple of years," Schroeder said.

In his last official act as commander, Schroeder passed the brigade colors to Brig. Gen. Mark Anderson, Wisconsin's assistant adjutant general for Army, who then presented them to Col. O'Donahue, formally completing the change of command.

"To Col. O'Donahue, I think you're getting a great unit," Schroeder said. "I think you're absolutely the perfect person to take it to the next level.

"The quality of Soldier we have today in the National Guard is phenomenal," he continued, "and I'm just very encouraged that the future of the National Guard is in good shape with the quality of Soldiers we have today."

Command Sgt. Maj. Rosemore was grateful for the opportunity to serve as the senior enlisted leader of the brigade for two years.

"Through that, I grew tremendously as a leader, and it was only because of the formation that stands before me right now," Rosemore said. "Because every time you put on your boots and you stepped around and you start working with each other, you learn stuff from each other. You have made me a lot better leader with everything that I have learned from you throughout these last 24 months."

He thanked the Soldiers and leaders for their hard work and dedication to making the unit better in all facets.

"I charge you with the same responsibility," the outgoing command sergeant major said. "Make this formation stronger and better and learn from each other every day." One of the Wisconsin Army National Guard's largest troop formations has a new command team at the helm after a formal ceremony in Milwaukee Feb. 8.

The nearly 1,700-Soldier 157th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, known as the "Iron Brigade," bid farewell to outgoing commander Col. John Schroeder and Command Sgt. Maj. Ralph Rosemore after nearly two years leading the brigade. Col. David O'Donahue and Command Sgt. Maj. Daniel Sullivan replaced them.

For their efforts in shaping the Iron Brigade, Schroeder and Rosemore were each awarded the Meritorious Service Medal. Schroeder will become the Wisconsin Army National Guard's next chief of staff, while Rosemore will take over as the operations sergeant major in the 64th Troop Command.

In his final remarks to the 157th, Schroeder thanked his family, the Soldiers and the unit's family readiness group leaders for their efforts.

"I will tell you there is no greater honor that can be bestowed on an officer than to command troops in the Wisconsin Army National Guard or the National Guard," he said. "I've always said that your worst day as a commander will beat the best day as a staff officer any day of the week. Commanding troops is what every officer should aspire to in the Wisconsin Army National Guard."

He went on to praise the brigade's battalion leadership teams and the service of his brigade command sergeant major.

"Command Sgt. Maj. Rosemore, I could not have asked for a better battle buddy for the past couple of years," Schroeder said.

In his last official act as commander, Schroeder passed the brigade colors to Brig. Gen. Mark Anderson, Wisconsin's assistant adjutant general for Army, who then presented them to Col. O'Donahue, formally completing the change of command.

"To Col. O'Donahue, I think you're getting a great unit," Schroeder said. "I think you're absolutely the perfect person to take it to the next level.

"The quality of Soldier we have today in the National Guard is phenomenal," he continued, "and I'm just very encouraged that the future of the National Guard is in good shape with the quality of Soldiers we have today."

Command Sgt. Maj. Rosemore was grateful for the opportunity to serve as the senior enlisted leader of the brigade for two years.

"Through that, I grew tremendously as a leader, and it was only because of the formation that stands before me right now," Rosemore said. "Because every time you put on your boots and you stepped around and you start working with each other, you learn stuff from each other. You have made me a lot better leader with everything that I have learned from you throughout these last 24 months."

He thanked the Soldiers and leaders for their hard work and dedication to making the unit better in all facets.

"I charge you with the same responsibility," the outgoing command sergeant major said. "Make this formation stronger and better and learn from each other every day." 

During their time as a command team, Schroeder and Rosemore deployed multiple units and hundreds of Soldiers from the 157th to Afghanistan including both Battery A and Battery B from the 1st Battalion, 121st Field Artillery, the 829th Engineer Company and the 950th Engineer Company.

They also oversaw major domestic emergency operations.

"This unit is doing extraordinary things for the defense of our country, and it takes great Soldiers, and it takes great leadership," said Maj. Gen. Donald Dunbar, Wisconsin's adjutant general. "Col. Schroeder and Command Sgt. Maj. Rosemore, you guys have done a phenomenal job. I'm very proud of you."

After praising Schroeder and Rosemore for their work, Dunbar made note of the Col. O'Donahue's strong leadership pedigree. He formerly commanded the 724th Engineer Battalion in combat with elements from the Pennsylvania and Puerto Rican National Guard. He also served as the deputy commander of the 157th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade.

"To Maj. Gen. Dunbar and Brig. Gen. Anderson, thank you so much for the trust and the opportunity given to me," O'Donahue said. "I will not let you down."

"And finally to the men and women of the Iron Brigade, I can't tell you what a really distinct honor it is to command this unit," he said. "It's hard for me sometimes to put it into words what that means to me. I look so forward to the next few years."

After receiving the brigade colors from Brig. Gen. Anderson, O'Donahue entrusted them to his new brigade Command Sgt. Maj. Daniel Sullivan, who recently returned to the United States after a deployment with the 32nd Infantry Brigade to the Middle East.

"I look forward to working with each one of you and getting to know each one of you and carrying on the fine traditions of the Iron Brigade," Sullivan said standing before the Soldiers for the first time.

"I'd like to say, 'Good luck and God speed,' to Command Sgt. Maj. Rosemore and Col. Schroeder," he added.

With that, a new chapter in the storied history of the Iron Brigade began.