FORT HOOD — For the fourth time, Col. David Lesperance said goodbye to the 1st Cavalry Division.
With his company, battalion and brigade command experience all with America’s First Team, he said he leaves with a career’s worth of lessons learned.
“My entire career has been a set of experiences in this division,” he said Thursday morning as he prepared to hand over the reins of the division’s 3rd “Greywolf” Brigade Combat Team. “Every one of those jobs has prepared me for what I’m going to do next.”
As he heads to serve as III Corps’ chief of staff, Col. Matthew Van Wagenen stepped in as the new Greywolf commander.
Lesperance said he is proud of the brigade. During his two years in command, Greywolf was the first brigade from the division to conduct a decisive action rotation at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Calif., and then deployed two battalions to opposite ends of the globe — Egypt and Korea.
“I expect nothing but great things from this formation in the coming years,” he said.
Van Wagenen joins the brigade from his most recent position on staff at Regional Command East in Afghanistan. This is his first time stationed at Fort Hood.
“I’m looking forward to getting connected with the community down here. It’s legendary, the cooperation between Fort Hood and the community,” he said.
Brig. Gen. Michael Bills, division commander, said the brigade is “extremely fortunate” to have Van Wagenen on the team.
“I want to extend the warmest Central Texas welcome,” Bills said. “Thank you for your fine service to this nation and all you will do for Greywolf troopers.”
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. You can contact Rose L. Thayer at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7463. Follow her on Twitter at KDHmilitary.