by Maj. Earl Brown
1st Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs Office, 4th Infantry Division
Soldiers, Families and friends of the “Raider” Brigade said farewell to Col. Jeffrey Martindale and welcomed Col. Joel Tyler who assumed command of the brigade during a change of command ceremony on Manhart Field, Sept. 1.
With reservation, Martindale passed on the coveted title of “Raider 6” to Tyler. Martindale served as the commander for the past two years beginning with the brigade’s move from Fort Hood, Texas, to Fort Carson.
Shortly after arriving in Colorado, the brigade was ordered to become the first heavy brigade combat team to serve in Afghanistan supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. The Raiders deployed to the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, La. in April 2010 and quickly departed to Afghanistan as part of President Barack Obama’s surge in Regional Command West and as the main effort for Regional Command South in Kandahar City.
“Raiders, it has been my honor to spend the last two years with you both in Afghanistan and here at Fort Carson, a place I love and hate to leave,” said Martindale.
In addition to the traditional transfer of colors from Martindale to Tyler, each of the six battalions within the ranks changed command.
During his speech, Martindale sidestepped traditional expressions of appreciation and asked his outgoing battalion commanders to join him “up front” at the podium to personally thank them for their service and support to the Raiders and their Families.
“Due to their shortened timeline to change duty stations, these
commanders were not given the chance to have me speak at each of their changes of command and thank them individually,” said Martindale. “So I’ll take this time to honor those whom I have proudly served alongside.”
Martindale warmly described each of his commanders’ accomplishments during their deployment and extended an emotional thanks to all his company commanders standing in formation.
Martindale expressed his humble appreciation to his “friend and trusted adviser,” Command Sgt. Maj. Gerald Kinloch, who “always provided valued feedback to the Soldiers’ every need.”
Martindale’s next assignment will be as the commander of the Operations Group at the Joint Multinational Readiness Center in Hohenfels, Germany.
Tyler, a recent graduate of the Naval War College in Newport, R.I., said he was filled with a mixture of humility and gratitude to take command of the Raider Brigade.
“I am humbled to command a unit whose history stretches from the world wars, Vietnam, Iraq and the first heavy brigade to fight in Afghanistan,” said Tyler.
“I am grateful to all of the Soldiers, Families and friends who have made this day possible and to the Fort Carson community who join us to celebrate the enduring spirit of this great organization,” Tyler said.