The 10th Mountain Division Combat Aviation Brigade has bid farewell to Colonel Pedro G. Almeida and welcomed new command leader Colonel David J. Francis.
A change of command ceremony was held Tuesday morning at the Wheeler-Sack Army Airfield where Major Mark A. Milley spoke of the accomplishments of the brigade’s deployment while under command of Col. Almeida over the last two and a half years.
“He has guided this brigade through two and a half challenging and rewarding years, both in the preparation of combat, in the conduct of combat and the reset following combat,” said Major General Milley.
Following remarks from Major General Milley, Col. Almeida spoke to the Combat Aviation Brigade of their accomplishments and his respect for their hard work under his command.
“The best that can be said of me, and of any other leader, is that we set the stage for you to make it happen. And for the record, what you accomplished was amazing,” said Col. Almeida. He went on to commend his troops for saving the lives of hundreds of soldiers while deployed, through the dark of night and through treacherous terrain.
New brigade commander Col. Francis, a native of Pennsylvania, has served as Commander of the 2nd Battalion, 25th Aviation Regiment, 25th Infantry Division in Operation Iraqi Freedom, S3, 25th Combat Aviation Brigade, XO and S3 of 2nd Battalion, 25th Aviation Regiment during Operation Enduring Freedom, and Company Commander and platoon leader in 2nd Battalion, 82nd Aviation Regiment and platoon leader in 2nd Battalion, 2nd Aviation Regiment, Camp Stanley Korea.
His military awards and decorations include:
- Bronze Star Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster
- The Defense Meritorious Service Medal
- The Meritorious Service Medal with 4 Oak Leaf Clusters
- The Air Medal with numeral 2
- Combat Action Badge
- Master Army Aviator Badge
- Parachutist Badge
- Air Assault Badge
For more information, to watch the change of command ceremony and to hear from Major General Mark A. Milley, watch the complete video story.