FORT HOOD — The 36th Engineer Brigade received an entirely new command team during a ceremony Wednesday morning at Cameron Field.

Col. David Hill and Command Sgt. Maj. Geoffrey Harris bid farewell to the “Rugged” Brigade.

“They’ve had a miraculous effect on improving the culture of this brigade,” said Brig. Gen. Joseph Martin, deputy commander of maneuver for the 1st Cavalry Division, during his remarks as the presiding officer of the rainy ceremony.

“Dave’s greatest accomplishment is how he positively affected the culture of this organization,” Martin said.

Since 2009, soldiers of the 36th Engineer Brigade continued to rotate through Afghanistan. In the past two years under Hill’s leadership, 23 of the brigade’s 27 companies deployed. Rugged soldiers also trained and executed seven rotations between the Army’s two combat training centers.

During his remarks, Hill spoke of the nickname given to the 36th by the Germans in World War II — the “Little Seahorse Division.”

While the unit’s patch played a role in the name, Hill said it also was about “the tenacity and courage of a unit that appeared much bigger than it actually was.”

“I’m quite confident somewhere right now an enemy of Afghanistan respects and curses the tenacity and courage of a unit that appears much bigger today than it actually is — just as it did in 1944,” Hill said.

Col. Heath C. Roscoe accepted command of the Rugged brigade, and joining him is Command Sgt. Maj. Douglas S. Padgett.

“I’m truly honored and humbled to be standing here,” Roscoe said.

He plans to focus on soldier and family comprehensive health and leader development of junior leaders during his time in command.

This is Roscoe’s first time stationed at Fort Hood and he is looking forward to joining the brigade, as well as taking in some of the Texas culture.

“It’s my first time in Texas. I’d like to enjoy some barbecue, a rodeo and see the Gulf Coast,” he said.

Contact Rose L. Thayer at or (254) 501-7463. Follow her on Twitter at KDHmilitary.

Rose L. Thayer is the military editor for the Killeen Daily Herald. She joined the paper in February 2011 as a health and military reporter. View her complete profile Here.

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