Zumwalt assumes 48th Chemical Brigade command

Hood Herald/CATRINA RAWSON - Col. Maria Zumwalt, incoming brigade commander of the 48th Chemical Brigade, prepares to hug outgoing commander Col. Eric Brigham during their change of command ceremony Friday at Fort Hood.

By Amanda Kim Stairrett

Fort Hood Herald

Col. Maria Zumwalt commanded Fort Hood's 2nd Chemical Battalion and on Friday, took command of its higher headquarters, the 48th Chemical Brigade.

Col. Eric Brigham relinquished command Zumwalt during a ceremony outside III Corps headquarters and Command Sgt. Maj. Donald Moten relinquished responsibility to Command Sgt. Maj. Kenneth Graham.

Brigham is going to a post at the Pentagon. Moten is set to retire after 30 years of service. His son, Sgt. DJ Moten, is deployed to Iraq.

Zumwalt recently completed the Senior Service Fellowship Program at the University of Texas. She served at Fort Hood with the 1st Cavalry Division and 2nd Chemical Battalion, taking command in April 2008 of the 1st Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry.

She served as a battalion commander alongside Lt. Col. Tim Karcher, who commanded the 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, when he was injured June 28, 2009, by a car bomb. Karcher attended Friday's ceremony and Zumwalt told him, "I owe you my life."

She told the brigade's soldiers she was proud to join them.

"Our journey begins," she said.

Graham previously served as the senior noncommissioned officer of the 23rd Chemical Battalion at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. He served at Fort Hood under the 13th Sustainment Command.

The brigade has soldiers spread across eight installations, and representatives from each of its five battalions traveled to Central Texas for the ceremony last week. Eighty percent of the brigade is at other installations, Brigham said.

The brigade's headquarters and the 2nd Chemical Battalion are located at Fort Hood. The 22nd Chemical Battalion is located at Edgewood, Md.; the 23rd Chemical Battalion is at Joint Base Lewis-McChord; the 83rd Chemical Battalion is at Fort Polk, La.; the 110th Chemical Battalion is at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

Brig. Gen. Leslie Smith, commander of the U.S. Army 20th Support Command, thanked Brigham and Moten for making the brigade part of the fabric at Fort Hood by not only conducting its own training, but by supporting Fort Hood events, including the Nov. 5, 2010, Run to Remember and winning III Corps's 2011 Combatives Tournament.

Moten has served as the brigade's senior noncommissioned officer for four years and said he loved being a soldier.

"I hope I did good," he joked.

The best part about his career was "being with you," he told the soldiers around him.

He enjoyed much about the job, including running up and down the road during physical training and acting like he knew everything.

"I didn't, but I acted like I did," he joked.

Contact Amanda Kim Stairrett at astair@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7547.

Follow her on Twitter at KDHmilitary or www.facebook.com/astairrett.

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