457th CA Bn. receives new commander

Story and photos by Spc. Glenn M. Anderson
221st Public Affairs Detachment

On a bright and sunny afternoon, Soldiers, families and friends of the 7th Civil Support Command, Europe’s only Army Reserve unit, gathered on NCO Field June 4 on Daenner Kaserne for a change of command ceremony.

Lt. Col. Lawrence L. Tubbs succeeded Lt. Col. Christopher Varhola as the commander of the 457th Civil Affairs Battalion, 361st Civil Affairs Brigade. Col. Friedbert Humphrey, the commander of the 361st CA Bde., presided over the ceremony.

In his remarks, Colonel Varhola thanked the troops before him for their dedication and service.

“Army Reserve Soldiers embody selfless service. We often drive long hours and perform a difficult mission on top of our civilian jobs,” Colonel Varhola said. “This burden of selfless service is not just shared by our family members, but we cannot do our jobs without the love and support of our spouses and children, who grow accustomed to our weekend absences.”

Maj. Gen. Patricia E. McQuistion, commanding general of the 21st Theater Sustainment Command, and Maj. Gen. David S. Elmo, U.S. Army Europe deputy chief of staff for Mobilization and Reserve Affairs, along with leaders and primary staff officers of the 7th CSC, attended the ceremony.

Colonel Tubbs is no stranger to civil affairs. He has served in civil affairs positions at the company, battalion and brigade levels since the earliest days of the 7th CSC.

“The responsibilities entrusted to me today are awesome, and I am both humbled and inspired by the task at hand … to lead the 457th forward in projecting operational civil affairs capabilities in support of full spectrum operations,” he said. “The Soldiers so proudly aligned before us today represent the best our nation has to offer — selfless, dedicated and highly professional citizen-Soldiers constantly prepared to answer the nation’s call.”

Colonel Tubbs, who joined the Army in 1985 and the Army Reserve in 1995, also holds a civilian job as a strategy and plans officer at Special Operations Command Africa.

“I am sad to see Lieutenant Colonel Varhola leave as he had such great plans for the 457th,” said Staff Sgt. Arthur Kleeb, the battalion medical noncommissioned officer. “I have no doubt that Lieutenant Colonel Tubbs will pick up right where Lieutenant Colonel Varhola left off, and I am looking forward to the future of the 457th CA Bn.”

Colonel Humphrey said the 457th CA Bn. is ready for any mission anywhere.

“The battalion has proven itself in multiple activities. Despite being less than 2 years old, the 457th has gained the reputation as reliable and tactically proficient CA Bn.,” he said.

 “Soldiers of the 457th CA Bn. proudly leave this field today as you have accomplished much in a short period of time,” Colonel Tubbs said. “Know that we have a ways to go to further develop our operational capabilities, but I have no doubt in my mind that you are up to the task.”