MESA, Ariz. –
The 653rd Regional Support Group welcomed new commander Col. John Watson, following a change of command ceremony, Arizona State University, Mesa Campus, July 10.
Watson replaced outgoing commander Col. Anthony Ely, who had overseen the brigade since July 2020. Ely will assume the role of deputy commander for the 311th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) following his departure.
Present at the ceremony was Brig. Gen. John M. Dreska, commander, 311th ESC, who praised Ely for his contributions to the brigade during his tenure in command.
“Your Soldiers were always ready for the nation’s challenges and any missions that came their way,” Dreska said. “Your resiliency always persevered amidst the numerous obstacles over the last two years.”
“You led from the front and never compromised your Army values. I know there are great things ahead for you and I’m proud to call you my friend.”
Ely reflected on his time in command and said although it was challenging, there is much to be proud of during the past two years.
“These fantastic Soldiers standing in front of you achieved their missions with always the same results,” Ely said. “This is due to the stellar noncommissioned officers, warrant officers and officers leading and training these Soldiers to success.”
“This was one of the most rewarding experiences of my Army career – I was privileged to serve with you.”
During his remarks Watson stated how proud he is to take command of the brigade and become a part of the team.
“All of you made the choice to be here today, to serve … let’s take advantage of that and help each other achieve greatness," Watson said. “The next two years of my life are going to be about your success. Let’s take care of ourselves and each other and I promise you we’ll be celebrating success."