WACKERNHEIM, Germany –
Col. John E. Dethlefs assumed command of the 7th Mission Support Command’s 209th Digital Liaison Detachment in a ceremony held at the McCully Barracks’ Fitness Center Sept. 10, 2016.
In his first speech before his new Soldiers, Dethlefs, expressed surprise that he would be actually chosen for command in Germany.
“I felt like I had won the lottery,” Dethlefs said, when he found out he was going to command a DLD in Germany.
Dethlefs explained that the only thing that was better for him than leading Soldiers, was leading Soldiers in Germany.
“We are team builders,” said Dethlefs, “our country will ask us to do the same thing; to go embed with an ally, to help and advise them. Live free, never surrender.”
Brig. Gen. Steven W. Ainsworth, the commanding general of the 7th MSC, officiated the assumption of command ceremony.
“The 209th’s mission is to provide communication and coordination between battlefield elements,” said Ainsworth.
In his address to the unit and attending audience, Ainsworth expressed praise for the 209th DLD.
“They help unify and synchronize strategy between echelons and between Army and foreign militaries; it’s a very important mission,” Ainsworth said. “It´s a true cornerstone of what we do here and you must be experts at communicating.”
Ainsworth also thanked outgoing commander, Col. Edward C. McFadden for his leadership of the unit.
McFadden, who was not able to attend the ceremony, commanded the 209th DLD for three years, including a combat deployment to Afghanistan in 2014.