CAMP NOVO SELO, Kosovo – Soldiers assigned to the 1st Battalion, 149th Infantry Regiment, Kentucky Army National Guard, conduct a transfer of authority ceremony, March 04, 2022. The ceremony brought together elements of multinational partners from Poland, Turkey and Latvia, with guests of other multinational military leaders at Camp Novo Selo, Kosovo.
The transfer of authority ceremony is a military tradition that represents the transfer of responsibility from one command to another in order to maintain continuity on the battlefield.
Each army command is represented by a distinctive flag known as the “colors”. Colonel Jason Mendez and Command Sergeant Major Will Long of the 1-149th Infantry Regiment “Mountain Warriors”.
The 1-172nd donned their colors to signify completion of their mission and the 1-149th retired their colors to signify assumption of responsibility.
Following this, the transfer of authority for the NATO mission where the departing command team, Maj. Fike, and Command Sgt. Major Mulcahey, of the departing unit, passes the NATO colors to the presiding commander, Col. Joseph A. Hopkins III, and he passes it on to the incoming commanding officer, Lt. Col. Jason Mendez, and Command Sgt. . The major will be long.
“In the US Army, the command sergeant major is the ‘keeper of the colors,'” said Capt. Patrick Finamore, who was the emcee. “As a senior enlisted soldier in the unit, they are the spokesperson for the loyalty and concerns of the soldiers and are the commander’s primary advisor.”
Col. Hopkins addressed the gathering and noted the beauty of the ceremony in the pleasant weather conditions, as well as the representatives of multinational allies present who serve with US troops in Kosovo. He commended the 1-172nd for its exemplary service and dedication to its mission.
The ceremony ended with the playing of the NATO anthem and KFOR 30 taking command of the ongoing mission in Kosovo, to provide a safe and secure environment in the region and freedom of movement so fair and impartial.
To learn more about KFOR Regional Command East, visit: https://jfcnaples.nato.int/kfor/rc-east
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