Skip to comments.Flyover marks command change for 111th. Monnard ends two years at fort, Wilkinson takes charge
Posted on 06/28/2014 3:24:45 PM PDT by SandRat
FORT HUACHUCA It was an unusual start to a change-of-command ceremony Friday morning when an Army RC-12 aircraft flew over Chaffee Parade Field to begin the ceremonial transfer of the leadership of the 111th Military Intelligence Brigade, as soldiers stood on the field.
The twin-engine flying intelligence platform, on which pilots and crews train as part of the 111ths mission, signified the hand-over of the brigade from Col. Mike Monnard to Col. Kevin Wilkinson.
Saying it is a time-honored tradition of passing the unit colors and recognizing the accomplishments of one commander and welcoming another, Maj. Gen. Robert P. Ashley Jr., said there are two kinds of jobs (in the Army): Command, and then everything else.
Ashley, who commands the Intelligence School of Excellence and Fort Huachuca, said he has watched Monnard, who he calls this tremendous leader in action, for more than a year.
I have no doubt Mike may think he blinked his eyes and two years flew by but it isnt true, the general said.
Command is a gift because a person has to choose to lead, choose to coach, choose to mentor, choose to share your fears; to share your aspirations, to never define yourself by the rank on your chest, but rather by the content of of your heart, Ashley said.
A commander inspires soldiers to reach their full potential and it is all the characteristics of leadership that define us as professional (and it) is what I observed in Mike Monnard this past year, Ashley said.
And when it comes to Monnard, the general said he knows his job is to prepare soldiers to be resilient and be ready to perform their combat missions.
And Monnard had to wear many hats, one being the commander, another of being a fellow soldier and a third of a parent, taking care of his soldiers, the general said.
Monnard said the Army has had its ups and downs during his career, and after 10 years of war there was an erosion in morale, which he said was low. However perseverance has lifted morale, has given young soldiers a new look at the challenges they face, giving them more of a determination to succeed, he said.
The success in turning around the problem is the professionalism of the brigades staff, officers, warrant officers and non-commissioned officers, Monnard said.
And he is preparing for a new challenge as he heads for United States Africa Command, headquartered in Italy.
So, Monnard said he is saying Goodbye Fort Huachuca, hello Italy.
Of Wilkinson, Ashley said the newest Sentinel 6 has a tremendous reputation as a leader the history and legacy of this great brigade is now yours as are the futures of countless sons and daughters who will defend this nation.
The most important thing Wilkinson has to do is establish a command climate empowering and inspiring your team to meet the challenges of the future threat and ensure each of our Military Intelligence soldiers is ready to support that commander on the battlefield (as) politics will change, technology will change and the enemy will change, Ashley said.
However he told the new commander there is one constant and it is the character of a leader, So Kevin its your turn to make a difference.
Wilkinson said he fully understands the challenges.
I will build on the hard work (of Monnard), he said.
More on Monnard, Wilkinson
Colonel Mike Monnard, who turned over the command of the 111th Military Intelligence Brigade on Friday, enlisted in the Army in 1987, serving as an intelligence soldier during Desert Shield/Desert Storm.
He was commissioned in 1992 as an Air Defense officer and after an assignment in South Korea he became an MI officer.
During his career he has served at all levels from team to brigade commander.
His awards include a Legion of Merit, two Bronze Stars, a Defense Meritorious Service Medal, six Meritorious Service Medals, two Army Commendation Medals and six Army Achievement Medals. He also is authorized to wear the Senior Parachutist Badge.
He and his wife, Amy, have two children, Mary and Max.
The brigades new commander, Col. Kevin Wilkinson, was commissioned an Armor officer through the Reserve Officer Train Corps program.
He has a bachelors degree from Norwich University and two masters, one from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and the other from the Army War College.
He has served in a number of assignments, including being the commander of the 309th Military Intelligence Battalion on Fort Huachuca from 2008 to 2010.
His awards include a Bronze Star Medal, two Defense Meritorious Service Medals, six Meritorious Service Medals, a Joint Commendation Medal, six Army Commendation Medals and five Army Achievement Medals. He also is authorized to wear the Parachutist Badge, Air Assault Badge and Recruiter Badge.
Here is a good look at it:
Bet it gets great satellite movie reception, too, LOL
Think Sky King and the Cessna 310. It’s great-grandfather with a few mods.
B Troop (ceremonial) usually attends parades and Change of Commands, but you haven't appreciated a good long winded, MI change until you've passed out and hit the ground like a brick outhouse.