‘Raging Bull’ Battery conducts change of command ceremony at Joint Security Station Loyalty, Iraq
BAGHDAD—Capt. John Morgan, right, former commander of Battery B, 1st “First Lightning” Battalion, 7th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, United States Division – Center and a Baltimore native, addresses the battery as 1st Sgt. Michael Deatherage, center, first sergeant of Battery B, 1st Bn., 7th FA Regt and a Sweet Spring, Mo., native, stands in front of the formation during its change of command ceremony Aug. 12, 2011, at Joint Security Station Loyalty, Iraq. Morgan, who led the company during its pre-deployment training and for nine months of its deployment in support of Operation New Dawn, relinquished command of the battery to the incoming commander, Capt. Bradley Fernstrom, a Minneapolis native. (U.S. Army photo by Capt. Christopher Miles, 2nd AAB, 1st Inf. Div., USD-C)
Story by: Capt. Christopher Miles
BAGHDAD—Soldiers with Battery B, 1st "First Lightning" Battalion, 7th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, United States Division – Center bade farewell to their outgoing commander and welcomed the battery's new leader during a change of command ceremony Aug. 12, 2011, at Joint Security Station Loyalty, Iraq.
The ceremony was conducted to allow Capt. John Morgan, outgoing commander of Battery B and a Baltimore native, to formally relinquish command of the "Raging Bulls" Company to Capt. Bradley Fernstrom, the incoming commander and a Minneapolis native.
Morgan praised the company's Soldiers, assembled in formation for the ceremony, for their selfless nature, never-say-die attitude, and mission accomplishments throughout his time with them.
"Without fail or question, every Soldier in the assembled formation before [me] has given 100 percent of themselves to this battery and to the accomplishment of its mission," Morgan said.
Lt. Col. Andrew C. Gainey, commander of 1st Bn., 7th FA Regt. and a Columbia, S.C. native, said he was extremely proud of both Morgan and the formation during his remarks.
"[Morgan] transformed this awesome formation in front of me and built them into a fierce maneuver force," Gainey said. "For those of you who don't know Capt. Morgan, he is intense and passionate about being both a leader and artilleryman."
Although sad to be losing a great commander, Gainey was optimistic about the incoming commander.
"Brad, I fully trust in your abilities to lead these fine Soldiers," Gainey said to Fernstrom. "Your professionalism and your competence will serve your Soldiers and their Families well."
Though naturally, due to the deployed environment, no Family members were present for the event, Gainey still welcomed the Fernstroms to the First Lightning Family.
"I know this is a great day for the Fernstroms and although they are not here, they will read about one of the greatest formations in the 1st Infantry Division that their father and husband led in Iraq at a time his nation needed him."
Morgan left his men with some last words of guidance.
"Maintain your focus and discipline—our combat mission is far from over, the enemy threat is still present and lethal," he said. "I have the utmost confidence that Capt. Fernstrom is the man for the job; he is the right man to bring you home with honor."