Story and photos by Sgt. 1st Class Mayra O’Neill, 362nd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment
FORT DEVENS, Mass. – The 1st Battalion Army Reserve Careers Division bid farewell to Lt. Col. Eric V. Myrick, and welcomed Lt. Col. Kurt D. O’Rourke as the battalion’s new commander during a change of command ceremony held July 9, 2012 at Fort Devens Community Activities Center.
Myrick a native of Montgomery, Ala., assumed command of 1st Battalion ARCD on May 10, 2010, becoming the second to command the battalion since the ARCD activated in October 2008. He has held a variety of demanding positions throughout his career from serving as a Platoon Leader, all the way to performing the duties as the Manpower Policy Officer as a member of the Office of the Chief Army Reserve, G-1 [Human Resources].
During his farewell speech, Myrick said that being the 1st Battalion commander has been the best assignment of his career. “You have inspired me and made me a better officer and I hope I have been able to help you,” he said.
Inspired by the late basketball coach James Thomas Anthony, who never gave up or let his team quit, he tells the soldiers of 1st Battalion, “Don’t give up, don’t ever give up, don’t quit.” Myrick praised his NCOs by saying, “You have done many good things over the past two years, and I know you will continue to get better.” “Stay passionate about what you do. Find a way to get yourselves motivated and re-energized if you need to, but continue to push forward.”
Myrick’s new assignment will be with the Department of the Army at the Pentagon.
The incoming commander, Lt. Col. Kurt D. O’Rourke a native of Beverly, Mass., began by thanking his family for enduring three moves in the past four years, which they have handled with grace and enthusiasm, as they continue to support the challenges of military life.
His last assignment was as a student at the U.S. Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Pa. Prior to attending the War College, O’Rourke was assigned as the Chief of Plans, Analysis, and Integration Directorate for the 99th Regional Support Command, Joint Base McGuire Dix Lakehurst, N.J.
O’Rourke considers taking over this command a gift and honor, and most of all a great privilege. “Command during a time of war and great transition for our armed forces is a distinct privilege,” he said. “Part of the honor of today is assuming command of a unit which has the distinction of having the finest non-commissioned officers in the United States Army Reserve,”
O’Rourke said with great pride. He continued to praise his NCOs and the Corp of the Non-Commissioned Officer by saying, “You have been, are, and always will be the backbone of the Army. You are the standard bearers of excellence and the Army Values.” However, he did emphasized that, “Mission failure is not an option.”
O’Rourke concluded his speech by quoting Adm. James Stockton, a Medal of Honor recipient and 8-year Vietnam prisoner of war by saying:
“Leadership must be based on goodwill. Goodwill does not mean posturing and, least of all, pandering to the mob. It means obvious and wholehearted commitment to helping followers. We are tired of leaders we fear, tired of leaders we love, and tired of leaders who let us take liberties with them. What we need for leaders are men of the heart who are so helpful that they, in effect, do away with the need of their jobs. But, leaders like that are never without a job, never out of followers. Strange as it sounds, great leaders gain authority by giving it away.” – Adm. James Stockton-
The United States Army Reserve Careers Division was established on 1 October 2008 by permanent order and assigned to the Headquarters, U.S. Army Reserve Command, Fort McPherson, Ga. This is the only accessioning agency assigned solely to the U.S. Army Reserve. Its mission is to shape and sustain the strength of the Army Reserve through aggressive retention and transition programs.