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Western Region deactivates

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Western Region Headquarters, Fort Lewis,Wash.

Western Region Headquarters, Fort Lewis,Wash.

by Jeremy O’Bryan
U.S. Army Cadet Command Public Affairs

FORT LEWIS, Wash. – The Western Region of U.S. Army Cadet Command will be officially deactivated today in a ceremony at its Fort Lewis, Wash., headquarters. From its ashes will rise three reorganized brigades, which will take on the responsibility of supporting 157 Reserve Officers’ Training Corps programs and running the flagship training and assessment event required for commissioning, the Leader Development and Assessment Course.

At the ceremony the 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, and 13th Brigades of Western Region, which are responsible for schools from Guam to Florida, and Illinois to Alaska, will be officially reorganized and re-flagged to become the 3rd, 5th and 8th Brigades directly under Cadet Command. Aspects of this reorganization have already begun, with some new or reorganized brigade headquarters already on mission.

Much of the Western Region staff will be retained within the 8th Brigade as brigade support staff or as part of the new cell attached to the 8th Brigade assembled to run LDAC. The new brigades will realign directly under Cadet Command leadership.

“This is a very big deal in the life-cycle of Cadet Command, and a good thing for our future,” said Col. Frank Ippolito, commander of Western Region and the executive agent for LDAC, also known as Operation Warrior Forge. “We have taken out an intermediate layer of control, which is an efficiency in the long run.

We’ve empowered brigade commanders with more responsibility and authority. The thought process is, with the elimination of the Regions and the growth of the brigades, we can have more authority down at the brigade level and reduce the command-and-control structure.”

Ippolito said Cadet Command’s transformation, both within the command-and-control structure and the changes that are taking place in the training at LDAC is a testament to the organization’s flexibility.

“The Army can turn on a dime,” he said. “The ability to transform, in stride, without effecting the quality of the training or support to the universities is a credit to Cadet Command and the institution.

“It is a credit to the Region staff that they are able to so quickly transform an organization with minimal impact on training and on the cadets. It impacted a lot of staff, in reorganization, but I don’t know that this impacted a cadet at all.

The command-wide adjustments take place just as planning is underway for key summer training events.

“The Leader Development and Assessment Course is being left in very able hands,” Ippolito said of the incoming Warrior Forge commander, Col. Paul Wood.

“Colonel Wood won’t skip a beat in ensuring the quality of the training is the best in the world. He will continue our mission to make sure for the Army that it’s leaders and commanders are well-trained. Colonel Wood is very anxious to take on these responsibilities.”

Wood is no stranger to Cadet Command. He has been a professor of military science at the University of Washington, and was the 13th Brigade commander for a year before he took over the reigns of the new 8th Brigade at Fort Lewis, which will assume the responsibility for 30 schools and for Warrior Forge.

“This summer should be exciting,” Ippolito said. “We’ve gone through a major transformation over the past two years. As we move toward a tactical training base-style operation vs. a garrison-based operation. This is new for Cadet Command, and it’s probably the way of the future – less reliance on billets and works into the current operating environment much more effectively and efficiently.

“It saddens me that I have to turn the command over,” Ippolito said. “Having been a brigade commander, running LDAC has been especially fulfilling. Watching the cadets go through LDAC, watching them progress, watching them learn, watching them lead. It has really been a great time in my Army career.”
Ippolito has been selected to be the director of officer accession coordination for the U.S. Army Accessions Command, a new office created by the Office of the Secretary of the Army.

“I won’t be far from ‘home,’” Ippolito explained. “Though I’m moving to the other side of the country, I’ll still be involved with the development and accessions-cycle of lieutenants. I just won’t get to see them as much. I’ll be more involved in policy matters.”

“I felt I was able to give something back in this training environment. Many colonels at this stage of their career don’t have the opportunity to do that with the young people of the Army, to have such contact that you have a legacy that will live well beyond your own service.

Ippolito said the work is still ahead for the brigade commanders to reach out and know their brigade footprints.

“If ever there was a challenge at the Region level, it was the fact that our span of control was so large – it took three years to actually reach out to (Western Region’s) 157 universities. Trimming that down to 40 universities is good for that senior rater at the brigade, allows him or her to see and know the schools well.

As Cadet Command moves toward a leaner frame, Eastern Region will undergo the same kind of deactivation, with brigades reorganizing in the near future to take on support of ROTC programs across the Eastern Region footprint plus the Leader’s Training Course.


Written by CadetCommandPAO

April 27, 2009 at 3:04 pm

Posted in News

Tagged with ,

One Response

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  1. It saddens me to hear of this change; I have fond memories of working alongside the best team members the military and COMTEK has to offer. I wish the best for Cadet Command with the beginning of this new chapter

    Gesyka Ryan

    March 1, 2010 at 12:53 am

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