June 13, 2011

29th ID Special Troops Battalion changes command

By Maj. Wesley Parmer        
29th ID Public Affairs

FORT BELVOIR, Va. — The 29th Infantry Division Special Troops Battalion held a change of command ceremony June 4 at Wells Field House at Fort Belvoir. Lt. Col. David C. Jones replaced the outgoing commander, Lt. Col. Marti J. Bissell, who served 18 months in the position.

 

Lt. Col. David C. Jones (left), incoming 29th ID Special Troops Battalion commander, speaks with Maj. Gen. Daniel E. Long, Jr. (center) the Adjutant General of Virginia, and Maj. Gen. Frank E. Batts, Sr., (right) the 29th Infantry Division commander June 3, 2011 at Fort Belvoir, Va. (Photo by Maj. Wes Parmer, 29th ID Public Affairs)

Honored guests at the ceremony included Virginia’s Adjutant General, Maj. Gen. Daniel E. Long, Jr., and Jones’s wife, Kathleen, accompanied by their two children.

“The Special Troops Battalion did an outstanding job in terms of supporting the fielding of all new equipment to the division headquarters, such that we are now on par with the best division headquarters in the United States Army in terms of technical capabilities,” said Maj. Gen. Frank E. Batts, Sr., 29th ID commander. “Lt. Col. Bissell has shared the vision and ensured we made tremendous steps toward that vision,” he said.

Bissell, an aviation officer from Lexington, Va., spoke fondly of her time in command as she addressed the battalion during her departure speech.

“We’ve accomplished much over the last 18 months due to your hard work, professionalism and willingness to come together as a team,” said Bissell. “Every day, by your very willingness to stand here and prepare for the next mission, you make the world a better place, a safer place and a place where every individual has a right to liberty.”

 

Soldiers of the 29th ID Special Troops Battalion assemble for the change of command ceremony June 3, 2011 at Fort Belvoir. Photo by Spc. John Wood, 29th ID Public Affairs)

Jones, a field artillery officer from Warrenton, Va., assumed command immediately after the ceremonial passing of the unit colors. The flag of the Special Troops Battalion was passed from Command Sgt. Maj. Jorey K. Riley, Special Troops Battalion command sergeant major, to Bissell. It was then passed to Batts, who in turn presented it to Jones, signifying the battalion was now his to command.

The ceremony ended with the final passing of the flag from the new commander back to the command sergeant major, cementing the new leadership bond between the two.

“Over the past 18 months, this unit has excelled in its mission under the leadership of Lt. Col. Bissell,” said Jones. “This is evident in the professional conduct of the leaders, the readiness of the unit and the morale of the Soldiers.”

 

Lt. Col. Marti J. Bissell, outgoing 29th ID Special Troops Battalion commander, receives a unit gift from Maj. Gen. Frank E. Batts, Sr., after the change of command ceremony June 3, 2011 at Fort Belvoir, Va. (Photo by Spc. John Wood, 29th ID Public Affairs)

Jones, a 1991 graduate of the Virginia Military Institute, recited a historical quote by one of the Institute’s most famous instructors which is inscribed on the wall over the main entrance to the VMI barracks.

“Over four years I walked beneath the arch of Stonewall Jackson and on that arch was inscribed, ‘You may be whatever you resolve to be,’” said Jones. “I have never forgotten these words and so I challenge each and every one of you to be true to yourself, true to the army values that unite our organization and to personally aspire for excellence.”

Bissell will next be assigned as the commander for the National Guard Augmentation Element at Joint Forces Command in Norfolk, Va.

The 29th ID Special Troops Battalion was formed in February 2006 and is comprised of over 780 Soldiers forming three companies, which include two detachments, two tactical command posts and a battalion staff. The battalion’s mission is to provide maintenance, transportation, medical, mess, supply, administration and communications support to the 29th ID Headquarters.

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