CAMP ATTERBURY, Ind. — The Indiana National Guard hosted a change of command ceremony for the 1st Battalion, 151st Infantry Regiment, Saturday, June 10, 2017.
Lt. Col. Shawn Eaken assumed command of the unit from Lt. Col. Chris Mabis, and Maj. Gen. David C. Wood, 38th Infantry Division commanding general, was the reviewing officer.
Eaken spoke to the assembled soldiers in his command, and he outlined the ambitious training and exercises the battalion will participate during his tenure, such as Pacific Pathways, a series of various exercises around the Pacific Ocean.
“1-151 has a great opportunity, and grand responsibility, to serve when the country calls. Well, I can tell you, we have been called. Called by the chief of staff of the Army, by the chief of the National Guard Bureau, by the adjutant general of Indiana, by the 38th Infantry Division commander, and by the 25th Infantry Division commander to be an urgent unit in the associated unit pilot program,” said Eaken. “We are charged with fully manning the battalion, equipping to be compatible with our active-duty counterparts, and training to the highest levels, both here in Indiana, and in Hawaii.”
The 1-151 Infantry, as part of the Army associated units program, is teamed with 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, headquartered in Hawaii. The associated unit program places a reserve component unit with an active-duty counterpart for organization, training and deployments.
The program leverages the capabilities and capacities of the active component, Army Reserve and the Army National Guard as one Army with in its total force concept.
During the ceremony, Wood also addressed the troops who are headquartered in Jasper, Indiana.
“Lt. Col. Eaken is experienced and dedicated officer. He is the right officer to continue the great work of Lt. Col. Mabis,” said Wood. “To the soldiers of the 1-151, you’re a great battalion. Keep up the great work, focus on your readiness. The associated unit program supports the total force policy as we train and prepare for decisive actions.”
The battalion traces its lineage to the Battle of Tippecanoe in November 1811. Soldiers with the unit have served in the Civil War, the Spanish-American War, both world wars, Vietnam, and Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.
Mabis, the outgoing commander, had parting remarks for his troops he led the last few years.
“I am humbled to have served with the soldiers, noncommissioned officers and officers of 1st Battalion, 151st Infantry,” said Mabis. “It has been an honor to command the battalion I spent the majority of my enlisted and commissioned service in. I cannot be more proud of an organization than I am right now. 1st Battalion, 151st Infantry is ready to fight and win. The battalion must continue building teams, developing leaders and working on physical fitness - every day. We must be ready and take care of each other and our families. This is the best infantry battalion in the state of Indiana and one of the best in the nation. Be proud of what you've done and where you are going.”