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NEWS | March 1, 2016

Taking charge, taking care of Soldiers

By Sgt. 1st Class Gary Witte 642nd Regional Support Group

FORT STEWART, Ga. - U.S. Army Col. Jeffrey L. Richar doesn’t just want the best for his Soldiers, he wants the best from his Soldiers.

Richar took command of the 642nd Regional Support Group during a ceremony at Fort Stewart Sunday afternoon. He now leads the reserve unit based in Decatur, Ga., overseeing thousands of Soldiers throughout the southeastern United States.

“It’s going to be an organization where they want to come to work,” he said prior to the event. “And they’re going to want the 642nd to be the best…I want to eliminate the idea mediocrity is OK.”

He took over from Col. James T. Wilson, who will lead a portion of the unit to Fort Bliss, Texas, where they will process troops going through mobilization and demobilization.

Brig. Gen. Francisco A. Espaillat, commander of the 143rd Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), said in a statement that Richar now leads the largest brigade in the command. The 642nd RSG is a subordinate unit to the 143rd ESC.

“Col. Richar comes with a wealth of experience commanding battalions – two of which he inactivated and one he had to activate,” Espaillat said. “As he prepares for the 642nd mobilization at Ft. Bliss, things are going to become incredibly busy."

Richar’s previous position was as G3/5 for the 84th Training Command at Fort Knox, Ky. His other assignments have included chief plans officer, G3 and deputy chief of staff with the 78th Training Division, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J.

He served with the 401st Civil Affairs Battalion during Operations Desert Storm and Desert Shield. His awards include the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with Bronze Oak Leaf, Southwest Asia Service Medal with two Bronze Service Stars and Kuwait Liberation Medals.

The goals he intends for the 642nd include mentoring junior officers on the importance of taking care of Soldiers. He said his wartime experiences showed him the consequences of that not happening.

“I’m pretty intense as a leader, but pretty compassionate for the Soldiers,” Richar said.

Troops also need to understand the benefits they are entitled to as well as the main mission of the brigade, he said.

“Our role is to support the combat commander in theatre,” Richar said.

The 642nd RSG serves as headquarters for 28 Army Reserve combat services support units. These primarily provide battalion level command and control, maintenance, transportation, quartermaster, and personnel support.