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NEWS | Jan. 29, 2018

ARE EUCOM holds change of authority ceremony

By Lt. Col. Anna Aldana U.S. Army Reserve Element European Command

Col. Salvatore Rao assumed authority from Col. Timothy P. Coon, who is scheduled to retire at the end of January. The event marked the end of Coon’s distinguished leadership at ARE EUCOM which he has held since 2013. His retirement ceremony was held concurrently.

“I wouldn’t be here without the soldiers. We have shared some fun, challenging, and awesome times,” said Coon. “I had a great career and made even greater friends.”

For more information about EUCOM, visit

A native of Connecticut, Coon earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from the University of Connecticut. He also holds a Master of Arts degree in Public Administration from the University of Hartford, and a Master of Arts in Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College. Coon has served in a variety of leadership positions since receiving his commission at Fort Benning Officer Candidate School in 1988.

As a respected and trusted leader within the 76th Division, Coon provided soldier support to EUCOM and Special Operations Command Europe (SOCEUR) almost continuously with numerous exercises in Germany, Hungary, Israel, Portugal, and Korea. He has been a Board of Education member and Town Council Minority Leader for the Town of Glastonbury, Conn. for over 14 years. Currently, he serves as the Director, Field Services for the Connecticut Police Academy and has been employed by the State of Connecticut for over 25 years.

Rao addressed the ARE EUCOM formation for the first time as its commanding officer.

“I commit to you that I’ll work diligently every day to provide the best leadership that I’m capable of providing,” said Rao. “I challenge each of you to do the same.”

Col. Rao was born and raised in Providence, R.I. and graduated from Bryant College in Smithfield, R.I. in 1984. Subsequently, he enlisted in the Rhode Island Army National Guard and was commissioned four years later as an Ordnance Officer. He previously served as the commander of the 7th Battalion, 98th Regiment (TASS), and most recently as ARE EUCOM Chief of Staff.

U.S. ARE EUCOM provides timely support to the Combatant Command and enhances its ability to conduct military operations. The over 160 members of the unit also provides international military partnering and interagency partnering to enhance transatlantic security and defend the United States forward.