FORT HOOD — The 3rd Squadron, 3rd Security Force Assistance Brigade held its first change of command ceremony Monday since recruiting for the unit began in 2018.
Lt. Col. Richard Groen took over the reins of the squadron from Col. Aaron Dixon during a ceremony at the brigade’s Standards Field. The change of command was hosted by 3rd SFAB commander Col. Michael Trotter.
Dixon was the squadron’s first commander, who helped build the unit and led the “Companions” during 3rd SFAB’s Middle East deployment in 2019. He is scheduled to attend the U.S. Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, before taking over as the commander of U.S. Army Garrison Ansbach, Germany.
“Standing up a formation from scratch, manning it, equipping it, training it, taking it to JRTC (Joint Readiness Training Center, Fort Polk, La.), and then deploying it overseas in a relatively short amount of time truly takes a remarkable and special leader,” Trotter said. “Aaron Dixon, his lovely wife Ashley and their children, were absolutely the right leader and the right family to do all those things. Aaron is tough, he’s smart, he’s incredibly candid, well-rounded, and he’s one of the finest officers I’ve ever seen in my entire almost 31 years in the Army.”
The 3rd SFAB is comprised of 800 train and assist advisers, of which 170 are in 3rd Squadron.
Dixon said the past three years in command of the squadron went quickly in the fast-paced environment of an SFAB and it was an honor to be chosen to lead it.
“Just incredible initiative, incredible wisdom, from all ranks of the teams,” he said of the soldiers he led. “The opportunity we gave them to actually blossom in that environment, where we could see solutions in a way we had never seen before because we had that diversity and inclusiveness in each of those 12-man teams, was just an incredible gift.
“Thank you for the incredible marathon workout of full-person development that they’ve allowed me to experience here and to impart to others.”
Trotter welcomed Groen and his wife, Desiree, and daughter Gemma to the 3rd SFAB team and noted that like Dixon, Groen had the rare opportunity to go from commanding one cavalry squadron to immediately commanding another.
“Team Groen, we wish you all the best in command,” Trotter said. “You are truly the right team at the right time, at the right place, to build upon what Team Dixon has done for this formation. We are truly fortunate to have you as part of the team.”
Groen most recently commanded the 1st Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division.
“It’s not usual to have a second command, so to be given the opportunity is pretty tremendous and humbling,” Groen said. “It’s always great to have ‘commander’ in your signature block and have the opportunity to lead troopers again — it’s one of those things I would never have thought I would have the opportunity to do.”