By SYDNEY CALLIS
U.S. Army Cadet Command
U.S. Army Cadet Command’s 1st Brigade and the Leader’s Training Course are under new leadership.
Col. David Wood assumed command June 6 from Col. Michael Blahovec, and Command Sgt. Maj. Darin Smith passed responsibility as command sergeant major to Command Sgt. Maj. Christopher Martinez. Blahovec and Smith had held their positions for about two years.
“We’re very blessed to have had Col. Blahovec and Command Sgt. Maj. Smith at the helms of leadership of this great organization for these past two years,” said Maj. Gen. Jeff Smith, commanding general of U.S. Army Cadet Command and Fort Knox. “I’m sure over time things will change at 1st Brigade. They always do as leaders come in and out. Col. Wood and Command Sgt. Maj. Martinez will undoubtedly make changes. That’s inevitable. It’s not a bad thing; it’s a good thing.”
The brigade, which encompasses 11 senior and junior military colleges across the county, also runs the annual Leader’s Training Course at Fort Knox, which prepares college students for entry into the Senior Army ROTC program and helps prepare them to eventually commission into the Army.
Wood’s previous assignment was at Fort Knox’s Human Resources Command, where he served as chief of the Commander’s Initiatives Group.
During the June 6 ceremony at Olive Theater, Wood referenced the coincidence of the ceremony with the 69th anniversary of D-Day to highlight the selfless service and dedication of Soldiers from past to
“The incredible history of this great institution called the Army, and the daily sacrifices of the men and women who are currently serving and have served is what makes taking command of this brigade such an honor,” Wood said.
Wood, who will oversee operation of LTC, said he is excited to have the responsibility to select, educate and train the Army’s future officers.
“We are essentially writing the future history of the Army,” Wood said. “That is a huge responsibility I will not take lightly.”
Blahovec leaves 1st Brigade to become the provost marshal of the Training and Doctrine Command at Fort Eustis, Va.
“It has been an honor and a privilege to command this brigade for the past two years,” he said. “I know that sounds like a cliché, but for those who know me, you know that comes from the heart.”
Blahovec thanked all the people he worked with for their dedication and wished the brigade luck as they lead the LTC.
Martinez previously served as the operations sergeant major for Fort Knox’s 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division.
After 32 years of service in the Army, Smith is retiring and will be moving to Huntsville, Ala.
“We’re going to miss your leadership,” Smith said. “Just having that presence around, having that confidence around senior noncommissioned officers exude is something that is not easily attained and not easy to retain. You’ve always been the icon that everybody looks to.”
The commanding general thanked Blahovec and Smith for their service. He then expressed his confidence in Wood and Martinez.
“Take it, run with it and have a great time,” Smith said.