Col. Scott C. White, 193rd Infantry Brigade commander, accepts the unit colors from Brig. Gen. Patrick R. Michaelis, Fort Jackson commander, during a ceremony on Victory Field. June 30, 2022. (Photo Credit: Robert Timmons)

Col. White takes the reins as 193rd Infantry Brigade commander

By Alexandra Shea, Fort Jackson Public Affairs

Fort Jackson senior leaders, Soldiers, civilians and their Families gathered on Victory Field June 30 to bid farewell to the 193rd Infantry Brigade commander and welcome the next commander to take the reins.

As the brigade’s colors were passed from Col. Mark E. Huhtanen to Brig. Gen. Patrick R. Michaels, Fort Jackson commanding general, it signified the end of his command of the 193rd Inf. Bde. and start to the next adventure of his military career.

“The passing of the colors is a ceremonial symbol of the passing of command,” declared the master of ceremonies. “Col. Huhtanen passes the colors to Brig. Gen. Michaelis, relinquishing command of the unit, but never leaving the unit without a commander.”

Michaelis then passed the colors to Col. Scott C. White, signifying his acceptance of command and responsibility for the men and women who continue the mission to train and support the future of the nation’s Army.

“Brig. Gen. Michaelis then passes the colors to Col. White charging him with command of the unit,” the master of ceremonies continued. “By authority of Regulation 600-20, Paragraph 2-5C, the undersigned assumes command of the 193rd Infantry Brigade effective June 30, 2022, signed Scott C. White, colonel, Special Forces, commanding.”

Michaelis was the first to speak on behalf of the change of command ceremony.

“Transitions are a great moment to reflect on an organization,” Michaelis said. “It allows a pause to look back and reflect on the time and energy you put into the unit. Mark Huhtanen has a lot to remember.”

Michaelis reflected on the many challenges and new initiatives Huhtanen and the “Bayonet Brigade” faced in the past two years to including continuing to operate during the global-wide COVID-19 pandemic, establishing and recovering more than 8,000 trainees of the Army’s first COVID Recovery Company, establishing Fort Jackson’s Woman’s Mentorship Program, and implemented the first Health and Holistic Program at the training center in addition to training over 40,000 highly trained, combat ready Soldiers.

“Simply put, Col. Huhtanen made it a point to enable and empower his people to leave Fort Jackson better than when they arrived,” Michaelis said. “The brigade has led the way in improving the Basic Combat Training experience. Ensuring we are producing the most physically and mentally fit Soldiers for the operational force.”

As Michaelis finished his speech, he invited Huhtanen to make his last address to his Soldiers and staff.

“Thank you for all of your hard work, being such a team,” Huhtanen said. “Thank you for letting me serve with you. You are impressive day in and day out. You make it look easy, but I know it is not. While I get to stand up here and speak, today is really about recognizing this organization and all that it has done and will do. I would fight to serve with all of you again.”

“No ground to give,” Huhtanen said in closing of his final speech as commander.

As he returned to his seat, White stopped him to shake his hand.

“The Army is a family. As in all families, The Army requires a focus on people,” White said. “People First is not just a catchy line or phrase, it’s a way of life. Some essential characteristics of the People First initiative are empathy and the ability to create relationships. Our power as an Army, as a nation, is about the relationships we build. Relationships make us better people, Soldiers, leaders, men, women, children, husband, wives, and human beings.”

“This is such a tremendous opportunity for me. To the men and women of the 193rd, you have my absolute commitment, 100%. From this second forward you have my absolute commitment and dedication,” White said in closing. “No ground to give.”

White moved from the podium to the front of the color guard and gave his first official order to retire the colors, bringing the ceremony to a close.

Though Huhtanen has relinquished his duties as the brigade’s commander, he will become the U.S. Army Training Center-Fort Jackson’s deputy commanding officer.