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Tuesday, July 8, 2014 - 9:28pm
FORT BLISS — Just days before embarking on a yearlong deployment to Afghanistan, Lt. Col. William Stewart relinquished command of 5th Armored Brigade’s “Warhawg” Battalion to Lt. Col. Todd Wolford June 24 at the Fort Bliss Trading Post.
Stewart served as the commander of 1st Battalion, 360th Infantry Regiment, for the last two years, during which he provided mentorship, leadership and guidance to dozens of unit commanders at the company and battalion level.
During Stewart’s tenure with Task Force Warhawg, the unit trained more than 25,000 service members and more than 100 units.
Stewart expressed a debt of gratitude to the Warhawg Soldiers for carrying out missions he said sometimes seemed impossible.
“In a time of personnel and resource shortages, I had many commanders thank me personally for the professionalism that you guys have shown through it all,” said Stewart.
The Warhawg battalion made a habit of accomplishing tasks that previously seemed unattainable, said Stewart. Losing personnel transformed the unit from a four-team battalion into two-team unit, each capable of running more than 25 required training lines that included crew-served weapons training, mounted combat-vehicle gunnery, small-unit tactics and counter-insurgency techniques, he said.
“Bill accomplished these feats without having a single safety incident, which is rare when dealing with live rounds as much as Warhawg does,” said Col. Raul Gonzalez, 5th Armored Brigade commander and host of the ceremony.
Gonzalez went on to wish Stewart and his wife Linda success and safety in their future endeavors. He then welcomed Wolford and his wife LaRisa Kelley.
“There’s no other fitting name for you guys in this formation than Warhawgs,” said Wolford, “fighting and working with the very tenacity they display.”
Wolford concluded his remarks thanking all of the Soldiers in Warhawg and said he looks forward to improving on the legacy and filling the shoes left by Stewart.
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