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Brave Rifles bid farewell to commander, welcome 75th

Email   Print   Share By Maj. Adam Weece, 3rd Cav. Regt. Public Affairs
July 18, 2013 | News
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Col. Cameron Cantlon receives the saber of command of the 3rd Cav. Regt. and a few words of advice from Col. John B. Richardson IV during a change of command ceremony July 11 at Cameron Field. Cantlon became the 75th colonel of the Brave Rifles. Pfc. Erik Warren, 3rd Cav. Regt. Public Affairs
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Col. John B. Richardson (second from right), outgoing commander of the 3rd Cav. Regt., prepares to pass the unit’s colors to Brig. Gen. Joseph Martin (right), 1st Cav. Div. deputy commanding general for maneuver and reviewing officer of the regiment’s change of command ceremony, July 11. Pfc. Erik Warren, 3rd Cav. Regt. Public Affairs
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Col. Cameron Cantlon, 75th commander of the 3rd Cav. Regt., addresses the crowd and troops in formation following a change of command ceremony, July 11. At the ceremony, Cantlon assumed command of the regiment from Col. John B. Richardson IV, who departs Fort Hood for an assignment in Washington, D.C. Pfc. Erik Warren, 3rd Cav. Regt. Public Affairs
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Col. Cameron Cantlon (right), 75th commander of the 3rd Cav. Regt., and Command Sgt. Maj. Patrick K. Akuna Jr., the regimental command sergeant major, cut the cake during a reception following the Brave Rifle’s change of command ceremony, July 11. Pfc. Erik Warren, 3rd Cav. Regt. Public Affairs
The command of the 3rd Cavalry Regiment changed hands during a ceremony on Fort Hood’s Cameron Field, July 11.

Brig. Gen. Joseph Martin, 1st Cavalry Division’s deputy commanding general for maneuver and the reviewing officer for the Brave Rifle’s change of command, stepped to the podium and spoke extensively about the exemplary performance of Col. John B. Richardson IV, the regiment’s departing commander.

“Once again, you have performed superbly and have executed the duties of your position with originality, competence and character,” Martin said. “You have guided this unit through a huge transition.”

Richardson took command in 2011 after the regiment redeployed from a combat tour in support of Operation New Dawn, and he led the Brave Rifles troopers through the transition of an armored cavalry regiment complete with Bradley fighting vehicles and Abrams tanks to a Stryker brigade combat team. But it was the manner in which he led, and what he held onto as the change occurred, that impressed Martin.

“Johnny Richardson not only accepted and executed this unit’s transition to a Stryker brigade combat team,” Martin continued. “He embraced it all the while maintaining the traditions and history of one of the Army’s oldest cavalry regiments.”

One of the more special traditions of the 3rd Cav. Regt. is the practice of identifying its commanders by their numerical sequence number. Gen. Martin Dempsey, current chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and former commander of the regiment, is known among the Brave Rifles as “the 67th.” Col. David Teeples, who commanded the regiment in the 2003

invasion of Iraq, is known as the “the 70th.”

It came as no surprise then that Richardson, the 74th, addressing the approximately 120 guests and nearly 700 troopers on Cameron Field, remarked upon the significance of his place in the role of regimental commanders that includes Generals Patton, Polk, and Dempsey.

“It’s nice to be in a place where you’re not just a name; you’re a number,” Richardson said.

Richardson is replaced by Col. Cameron Cantlon, a recent graduate of the Army’s War College in Pennsylvania, but no stranger to the regiment or Fort Hood. This command marks Cantlon’s second trip to Fort Hood and second tour with the Brave Rifles in his 20 years of service.

Cantlon had previously served as the executive officer and operations officer for the regiment’s second squadron during its deployment to Iraq’s Diyala Province. More recently, he had commanded the 1st Cavalry Division’s 6th Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment, where he led them during their deployment in support of Operation New Dawn.

Even as Martin was saddened to see the Richardsons depart for Washington, D.C., he was encouraged about the new command team.

“To be honest,” Martin said, “I can’t think of a better officer and spouse team to lead this team into the future.”
 
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