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NEWS | Dec. 11, 2023

Col. William Christensen assumed command of the 166th RSG

By Maj. Jessica Jackson 1st Mission Support Command

Representatives from five units were present as Col. William Christensen assumed command of the 166th Regional Support Group.

“Earlier this year when I learned I would be coming to the 166th I was humbled and excited to be a part of the incredible lineage of the 166th,” said Christensen.

At the start of the ceremony flowers were presented to the spouses of both the outgoing and incoming commanders as symbol of respect, loyalty and devotion.

The official party consisted of Col. Carlos Gorbea, 1st MSC commander, who presided over the ceremony, Col. Brian J. Slaughter, 166th Regional Support Group outgoing commander, and Christensen, 166th incoming commander.

The ceremony took place at an assembly hall on Fort Buchanan in front of family, friends and leaders, as they watched on as Slaughter relinquished command after nearly two years in the position.

The change of command ceremony dates to the 18th century and served as a way for Soldiers to witness their new leader assuming the duties of commander—hence showing to whom they are now pledging their fidelity.

By passing the unit’s colors to Gorbea, Slaughter effectively relinquishes his command.

“We are afforded the opportunity to not only lead, but to learn," said Slaughter. "For those experiences and for the respect and dedication all of you showed me, I will be forever grateful.”

Gorbea then passes the colors to Christensen, assuming the responsibility of the brigade.

“Today marks the day that we, my family, and I, commit to do all we can to support, lead and take care of you and your families. I commit today, anew, to live the Army Values, to serve you selflessly," said Christensen.

After the passing of the colors, Gorbea praised Slaughter’s ingenuity, dedication and leadership of the 166th RSG.

“Brian you’ve done a phenomenal job," Gorbea said. “He brought new things to the unit that are not common, such as the German proficiency badge. Most importantly, he empowered leaders, and mentored NCOs and junior officers.”

Col. Gorbea also highlighted Slaughter’s role in championing the Connect the Dots program, that provided an opportunity for Soldiers to improve their ASVAB scores.

Finally, Gorbea welcomed Christensen to the 166th and praised his previous commanding experience throughout his career.

“He’s a leader in the military, he’s a leader in his community and will be a fantastic 166th commander,” said Gorbea.

The 166th RSG is comprised of more than 2000 Soldiers spread across Puerto Rico and the Caribbean. The unit is an expeditionary garrison that provides base support operations in the field, with a secondary mission to provide support during natural disasters.

In his first address as commander, Christensen emphasized his commitment to training, “I want us behind our weapons, I want us to push ourselves further than we think we can go.”

He left his troops with a final note, “I will wake up each morning thinking of you and praying for you and I will end each day with you on my mind," said Christensen. “My commitment to you and to your families is to take care of you. The best way I know how to do that is to make sure you are trained and ready to do the job the Army expects you to do.”