3rd Brigade Combat Team has new leader

Hood Herald/Steven Doll - Col. Douglas Crissman, left, is the new commander of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division. Command Sgt. Maj. James Pippin is the brigade’s senior noncommissioned officer.

By Amanda Kim Stairrett

Fort Hood Herald

Col. Douglas C. Crissman took over as commander of the 1st Cavalry Division's 3rd Brigade Combat Team in late April.

He started his command by thanking the soldiers who stood before him at a ceremony that bade farewell to the former commander, Col. Gary Volesky, and welcomed him.

"Though this ceremony signifies a change of command, we all know that where the rubber meets the road, very little has actually changed in the Greywolf Brigade today," Crissman said then. "I don't need to tell you that this brigade's reputation precedes it wherever it goes and has for many years."

Crissman grew up as a military child, his father retiring in 1994 after 30 years of service.

This is Crissman's first command in Central Texas, and said he was excited to be stationed here after hearing about it for years.

He was stationed at Fort Stewart, Ga., with the 3rd Infantry Division last spring when he got word of his next assignment. What followed was a pre-command course to prepare him and his wife for the next step.

Things in the Army have changed, and certainly for brigade commanders. Colonels have to be more generalists than they were before since the brigades they command now have everything they need to deploy. That means Crissman isn't just commanding infantrymen like himself. The capabilities of his brigade are much more varied, from combat arms to support to intelligence to engineers.

That also means Crissman has to rely on the expertise of the men and women he commands. Helping him at the top is Command Sgt. Maj. James Pippin, the brigade's senior noncommissioned officer.

They will lead huge efforts this summer to equip and train their soldiers for their next mission. Late May marked the beginning of a six-month reset point where the brigade will see a change in personnel and equipment update.

The brigade itself will also help other units prepare for more imminent deployments. A contingent from the brigade deployed to the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, La., last month to provide support training for the 1st Cavalry's 4th Brigade Combat Team as it prepares to deploy to Iraq later this summer.

The brigade's leaders expect to learn this fall what their next mission will entail, Crissman said.

Crissman is a 1988 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy and was commissioned an infantry officer.

Crissman and his wife, Carolyn, have two teenagers: Garrett and Haley, both students at Killeen High School.

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