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NEWS | March 1, 2016

Brigade to change leadership

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

FORT STEWART, Ga. - U.S. Army Col. James T. Wilson is handing over leadership of the 642nd Regional Support Group on Sunday, Feb. 27, but he’ll be taking part of it with him for a new mission.

Wilson, who has led the unit since 2013, will take charge of the processing of troops going through mobilization and demobilization at Fort Bliss, Texas. He will be accompanied by some members of the unit, who will handle administration and logistics for the new assignment.

“The unique thing is we’re passing the flag, but I’ll still be under the 143rd Sustainment Command (Expeditionary)],” he said.

The 642nd RSG change of command ceremony will take place 3 p.m. in the William P. Newman Athletic Facility at Fort Stewart. Col. Jeffrey L. Richar, formerly G3/5 for the 84th Training Command at Fort Knox, Kentucky, will assume command during the event.

The brigade-sized unit based in Decatur, Ga., oversees Army Reserve Soldiers throughout the southeastern United States in Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and Mississippi. It is made up of 16 units, with missions that include transportation, logistics and airborne operations.

Wilson has served in the Army for 28 years, having first enlisted in the Alabama National Guard and gaining his commission through Auburn University ROTC. He deployed to Saudi Arabia as a platoon leader during Desert Storm and was a support operations officer in Iraq.
Prior to taking charge of the 642nd RSG, he was the logistics officer, finance officer and chief of staff for Deployment Support Command in Birmingham, Alabama.

He earned numerous awards, including two Bronze Stars during Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom. He has also received several Meritorious Service Medals, Army Commendation and Army Achievement Medals.

During his time with the 642nd RSG, he oversaw annual operations such as the Regional Readiness Training Exercise and WAREX. Multiple subordinate units, such as the 461st Human Resources Company, deployed to, and returned from, overseas assignments.

He considers the operations very successful and is pleased with the progress the brigade has made.

“Doing a good job with the right team, the right training and the right equipment, prepared to go to the mission is the greatest success,” Wilson said. “We’ve done that several times.”

The newest assignment will involve taking over the work of the Mobilization Support Battalion at Fort Bliss. His Soldiers will be responsible for everything except the training of mobilizing and demobilizing troops.

Those remaining with the brigade in Georgia will continue their normal support mission under Richar’s command.

“You can’t just rob the headquarters and send it to Fort Bliss,” Wilson said. “There would be no one left to support the Soldiers.”

The 642nd RSG is one of five subordinate units reporting to the 143rd ESC in Orlando, Florida.