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NEWS | March 7, 2020

361st Civil Affairs Brigade changes command

By Sgt. Christopher Stelter and Staff Sgt. Todd Strobel 361st Civil Affairs Brigade

U.S. Army Reserve Soldiers from the 361st Civil Affairs Brigade welcomed a new commander to their unit, Col. Carlos E. Gorbea, during a March 7 ceremony, here, and bid farewell to outgoing commander, Col. Bradley A. Heston.

Hundreds of people gathered inside the post gym on Kleber Kaserne for the afternoon ceremony, presided over by Brig. Gen. Michael T. Harvey, commander of the 7th Mission Support Command.

Soldiers and guidon bearers snapped to attention when they heard the bugle call for the opening of the ceremony. The passing of the colors, a time-honored tradition, signified the responsibility of command passing from the outgoing to the incoming commander.

During his remarks, Heston, who took command in 2017, highlighted the brigade’s many accomplishments. These included direct support to U.S. Army Europe missions; Saber Guardian, Saber Strike and Cobra Strike.

“I will never forget these past three years,” said Heston, while reflecting the accomplishments of his team of the 361st.

Honorable Nellie Gorbea, Rhode Island Secretary of State, flew to Germany to see her younger brother take command.

“My brother is third generation in our family,” said Nellie Gorbea, “It’s in his blood to lead.”

During his remarks, Harvey offered Gorbea leadership advice upon taking command.

“It’s the greatest privilege you can ever have to lead this nation’s most precious resources, its sons and daughters,” Harvey said. “Don’t change who you are, what you have done to get here. Do the things which has made you successful in the past.”

Gorbea, a Rhode Island native and graduate of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is no stranger to the 361st, having previously served as commander of its subordinate unit, the 457th Civil Affairs Battalion.

“My first act as commander is for all Soldiers to relax, including the color guard,” said Gorbea, to relieve Soldiers standing at attention – remarks met with applause.

“The future of the 361st Civil Affairs Brigade is bright, and more relevant now than ever,” Gorbea said.