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After 30 years of service, Army Reserve Colonel says Army is better than ever

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – U.S. Army Reserve Soldiers with the 211th Regional Support Group, family members and guests assembled to say farewell to the outgoing commander, Col. Kelly McNeese, during a change of command ceremony, as he passed the unit colors to incoming commander, Col. David Dean, on Aug. 18, 2019.

The change of command marked the end of McNeese’s two-year term in command and preceded his retirement ceremony. McNeese started his career as an enlisted infantryman in 1988 and later commissioned through Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning, Georgia, in 1990. With over three decades of service, McNeese has seen significant transformation in the Army Reserve, resulting in the most capable, combat ready and lethal federal fighting force in the nation’s history. McNeese said he thinks the 211th RSG is ready for any mission the Army assigns to the Soldiers.

“The 211th and its subordinate elements are very well trained to adapt to an operating environment,” said McNeese, “whether it is a continental United States mobilization support mission, or whether it is to execute their mission in a theater of operations.”

During his service, McNeese has seen several improvements to uniforms, training, weapons and digital modernization of the force. He said the change in equipment has been good and the technological advances in virtual training have allowed the Army Reserve Soldier to do a lot more, while costing less and increasing safety.

“The technology and use of computers, artificial intelligence capability, robotics, all of that has a huge impact on how the Soldier operates on the battlefield,” said McNeese. “The technological advances I have seen during my career have made the Army better than ever.”

Despite the changes in equipment over the years, the one constant of the U.S. Army Reserve has been its Soldiers. The citizen-Soldiers of the U.S. Army Reserve come with a wide background of skills that allow them to be resilient and adaptable when assigned new missions. McNeese is proud his Soldiers for their resilience in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.

“We had Soldiers who readily volunteered for Defense Support of Civil Authorities operations in the Houston area, while their own homes were inundated with flooding and their own families were being evacuated,” said McNeese. “Yet they were still out there executing our mission in support of their friends and families, the local citizens of Houston.”

The willingness to help others while enduring their own hardship has been a hallmark of success for the 211th RSG under the guidance of McNeese. He is proud of the accomplishments of his Soldiers during his two years of command time and said he feels they will be successful during the upcoming mobilization next year.

“I think they will be very successful and represent well at Fort Hood,” said McNeese.

McNeese leaves these well-trained, capable and ready Soldiers to Dean, a 28-year veteran. The 211th RSG is a solid organization where the Soldiers are experts at their jobs and that has impressed Dean.

“I’m super excited to take command of this organization,” said Dean. “I look forward to working with all these organizations, to make them better, which means that their Soldiers will be better trained, and they can perform their job better.”

Dean will continue to prepare the 211th RSG as the unit gets ready to mobilize and deploy to Fort Hood, Texas, early next year in support of the Army Reserve’s world-wide mission. Dean is ready to lead his Soldiers on this mobilization and any mission they receive.

“Ultimately, whatever the mission is you get assigned, your duty is to be ready when the country calls,” said Dean. “The country has called the 211th to do this mission at Fort Hood and I look forward to preparing the organization to do it.”

For more information about the U.S. Army Reserve, visit http://www.usar.army.mil/.

The 211th Regional Support Group is part of the 4th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary). The 4th ESC has units throughout Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. As part of America’s Army Reserve, the units are capable, combat-ready, lethal and equipped to provide military and logistical support in any corner of the globe.

DISCLAIMER: This article was originally published at the Defense Video Imagery Distribution System Hub (www.didvshub.net). The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement.

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