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By Sgt. Rebecca Call
Utah National Guard
The 65th Field Artillery Brigade, Utah Army National Guard, conducted a change-of-command ceremony at Camp Williams, Utah, Aug. 13, 2022. During the ceremony, Col. Shawn Fuellenbach relinquished command to Lt. Col. Jason Wilde.
The change-of-command ceremony is a tradition where the outgoing commander symbolically relinquishes responsibility and authority by passing the brigade colors to the presiding officer, the Land Component Commander, Brig. Gen. Charlene Dalto, who in turn passes the colors to the incoming commander, ushering in new beginnings and symbolizing the change of responsibility and command of the brigade.
Dalto recognized the families of Fuellenbach and Wilde saying, “they are the secret to our success and play a vital role in service members’ performance because they serve along-side Soldiers.”
Dalto praised Fuellenbach’s ability to serve full-time as the chief of staff as well as leading the brigade to a very successful annual training during Operation Western Strike.
Dalto congratulated Wilde on his selection as the brigade commander. “You are the right person for this job…your position is paramount to the brigade’s success. Remember, you are here to lead.”
Fuellenbach emphasized in his comments that he wanted to concentrate on taking care of people, both the Soldiers as well as their families.
“People are our number one priority. We recognize that they are our most important resource, and we must take care of them."
The brigade presented flowers to the spouses of the out-going and in-coming commanders, thanking them for their support and dedication to their spouse as well as the Soldiers of “America’s Thunder.”
Fuellenbach referred to the excellent readiness levels of the brigade after a very successful eXportable Combat Training Capability (XCTC), Operation Western Strike in Idaho for the unit’s annual training. The exercise consisted of more than 1,800 Soldiers from five different states and from every major support command in the Utah Army National Guard.
“It was an honor to command “America’s Thunder.” They are in great hands with Lt. Col. Jason Wilde,” said Fuellenbach.
Fuellenbach concurrently served as brigade commander and as the G1 and recently as the chief of staff for the Utah National Guard. His mastery of planning and organizational skills as well as his strategic leadership were mentioned in the presentation of the Legion of Merit presented by Dalto.
After the success of XCTC, Wilde intends to do more exercises similar to the operation to improve the unit's lethality and readiness.
"We are going to do a lot of aggressive training in this next year. I am excited to see the outcomes I know we are capable of producing," said Wilde. “I am so impressed with the progress the brigade made under Fuellenbach and Command Sgt. Maj. [Michael] Sherratt's command. They are the picture of professionalism, and I am excited for my opportunity to work with Command Sgt. Maj. Sherratt as we strive to build on the great lessons learned from this past year.”
Wilde brings a wealth of operational and training knowledge to the 65th FAB. In addition to spending most of his career in the brigade as both a non-commissioned and commissioned officer, Wilde commanded the 3rd Battalion, 640th Regimental Training Institute, deputy commander for the 65th FAB during warfighter exercise 21-5, and recently was assigned as a liaison officer with the Main Command Post Operational Detachment.
The 65th FAB has been designated as a Contingency Response Force in fiscal year 2023. The brigade will be tasked with maintaining its high levels of readiness and be operationally ready to rapidly mobilize and deploy in support of global contingencies.
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