Fort Bliss, TX — Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 1st Armored Division welcomed a new
commander during the HHBN Change of Command Ceremony Feb. 13, at the 1st AD Parade Field.
“Today we say farewell to Lt. Col. Karen M. Wrancher, logistician, combat vet, and longstanding member of the Iron Soldier Family,” said Col. Curtis A. Johnson, 15th Sustainment Brigade commander. “[She] built this battalion from the ground up.”
HHBN activated May 2011 under the command of Wrancher, with just one company and has grown to five companies supporting the 1st AD staff.
The battalion lineage begins with the special troops battalion in 1944, has been activated and deactivated many times and was lastly the 1st AD Special Troops Battalion in 2007.
“As the mantel of command is passed over to Lt. Col. James Hardaway, it’s only fitting we recognize the dedicated Soldiers of HHBN for their accomplishments,” said Johnson.
After mentioning field exercises the battalion carried out for 1st AD, Wrancher expressed her appreciation for the battalion Soldiers.
“Gladiators, we’ve come a long way,” Wrancher said. “You are the power and synergy behind the division success and completed seven successful division level exercises.
“I’ve had a phenomenal opportunity … and pleasure to be part of a great team,” she continued. “Missions and tasks assigned to us were completed with great success … [this] team was built with trust … I wouldn’t have made it today without your support.”
Afterward, Hardaway expressed his desire for the battalion to be ready for any upcoming missions.
“Iron Soldiers, you’ll be called on to execute tough missions in an increasingly complex environment … no matter the time, place or mission, this team will be ready – technically , physically, mentally and spiritually,” said Hardaway. “As iron sharpens so, one person sharpens another. This ‘Gladiator’ team will move forward and prevail together.”