102nd Training Division welcomes new commander Print E-mail
Thursday, 07 February 2013
Story and photo by Robert Johnson
Managing editor
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The 102nd Training Division (Maneuver Support) said “good-bye” to their commander and welcomed his replacement during a ceremony Sunday in the Engineer Regimental Room at the Fort Leonard Wood museum.

Brig. Gen. Thomas Evans relinquished command to Col. Wayne Cavender during the ceremony. Presiding over the change-of-command was Maj. Gen. William Gerety, 80th Training Command (TASS) commander.
Col. Wayne Cavender, 102nd Training Division (Maneuver Support) incoming commander, hands the division colors back to Command Sgt. Maj. John Stumph during a change of command ceremony Sunday in the Engineer Regimental Room.

Following the official changing of the colors, Gerety spoke to the audience about the significance of the unit, the division’s impact on mission readiness across the Army and personally thanked Evans for his support as commander.

“I have had the opportunity to talk to the Soldiers in the division (102nd Training Division) and they set a standard. The success of  (Brig.) Gen. Evans is a clear testimony that this is indeed one of the best divisions in the Army Reserve,” Gerety said.

To the incoming commander, Gerety told the crowd that this wasn’t the first time he and Cavender had the opportunity to be involved in a change-of-command.

“You (Col. Cavender) have become my ‘go to’ guy. I appreciate you stepping up and taking on this mission. You’ll do a great job, as you always have in any challenge you’ve faced,” Gerety said.

Evans told the assembled Soldiers that the division has a very heralded history and sustained 173 days of straight combat during World War II, but today the division’s mission is to prepare Soldiers to be able to do the same.

“Within our division, there is one common theme among the chemical, engineers and military police — ‘you cannot over train.’ Every day, our instructors and Soldiers are conducting realistic training,” Evans said.

“And we maintain our level of training because at any moment we can be one second away from a terrorist attack; one second away from a chemical or biological attack; one second away from having to use the skills we train on in a real-life situation,” Evans said.

Evans thanked the Soldiers of the 102nd Training Division for their support, dedication and professionalism during his tenure as commander and reminded them of the “butterfly effect.”

“The efforts you put forth every day can have dramatic effects later. The small act, or person’s life you touch, today can have a lasting effect,” Evans said.

Evans said his successor, Cavender, was the right guy at the right time and that he would be a tremendous asset to the division.

Cavender said he looks forward to the challenges of the command and he intends to keep the 102nd Training Division among the best in the Army and set the conditions for future successes.

Cavender was the previous chief of staff for the division and lives in Murfreesboro, Tenn. He is married to his wife, Judy, and they have one son, Christian.



Last Updated ( Wednesday, 20 February 2013 )