In a ceremony held Tuesday on Brooks Field, the 2nd Battalion, 81st Armor Regiment cased its colors, then immediately uncased the colors of—and re-designated itself as—the 1st Battalion, 81st Armor Regiment. Following the uncasing of the 1-81 colors, Lt. Col. Larry Reeves relinquished his command of the armor regiment to Lt. Col. Darrell Green.
Col. David Thompson, the commander of the 194th Armored Brigade, welcomed the crowd.
“Thank you for being with us on this glorious day as we mark yet another change in our Army. Today we’ve witnessed the change of command between two great Soldiers,” he said. “The unit, now the 1st Battalion, 81st Armor Regiment, bids farewell to Larry and Christie Reeves and family, while welcoming Darrell and Jeanne Green and their family.
“At the head of this formation for two years, Reeves imparted his outstanding command style and no-nonsense approach to training, influenced by his combat experience and driven by an exceptional work ethic,” Thompson said, then addressed the Reeves directly.
“I believe you are uniquely prepared for the important duties before you as the chief, Armor Enlisted Branch at the Human Resources Command.”
Thompson then directed his attention to the incoming commander.
“Lt. Col. Green is no stranger to the brigade, or this battalion. (He) establishes his presence wherever he goes—a presence defined by exceptional competence, leading from the front, setting the standard, and great team play. He knows how to train, what’s important and when, and he has my utmost confidence.”
Reeves then took the podium.
“As I look back on the last two years, I am awed by what the Red Knights accomplished. However, little of it was me. Thus, I’ve got a bunch of people to thank, so please bear with me,” said Reeves. “A little over two years ago, I asked the Lord for strength, compassion, and wisdom as I took command of this formation. I’d like to publically thank God for carrying me for the last two years, because I could not have made it without Him.”
He went on to thank former post commanders Maj. Gen. Donald Campbell and Maj. Gen. James Milano, Command Sgts. Maj. John Troxell and Ricky Young, Garrison Commander Col. Rick Schwartz, and a long list of others who supported Reeves during his command.
“Near and dear to my heart are the Red Knights standing before you. Our mission of training the Army’s newest tankers is one we take with pride and a little chip on our shoulder. As the only battalion that trains men specifically to be the offensive punch to any maneuver formation, it takes a special person to want to crew (a 70 ton beast),”he said.
Reeves then thanked the squadron’s drill sergeants, the tank instructors, his “austere” staff, the company command teams, and Command Sgt. Maj. Derek Cornwall.
“I was blessed to have the best NCO I’ve ever served with as my (command sergeant major),” he said.
Before concluding Reeves also gave special thanks to his wife and family, then addressed the troops on the field.
“You are getting a great command team in Darrell and Jeanne Green. He is the right man at the right time to take you to greater heights—to include Fort Benning. Darrell, I know you will make the impossible seem easy and you will be a great commander. Red Knights, you are the single point of success for our armored force—continue to rock the free world.
“Battle hard, Red Knights, to surpass all,” said Reeves. “This is Red Knight 6. Nothing further, out.”
Reeves stopped to hug Green and shake his hand as Green prepared to address the audience.
Green served as the battalion operations officer for 2-81 Armor in 2007, and as the 194th Armored Brigade’s operations officer in 2008. One year later, on May 6, 2009, he assumed the duties of deputy commander for the 194th.
“I take the responsibilities of command with great pride and commitment; acknowledging the fact command is truly a privilege and not a right,” said Green. “Upon arriving at Fort Knox three years ago, I was initially assigned to 2-81 Armor and am honored to be returning to the Red Knight Battalion today. To the Soldiers and civilian team members of 1-81 Armor, Jeanne and I look forward to serving with you over the next two years.
“Finally, I would like to thank (Reeves) and the tremendously talented battalion and post staffs for a great transition.”