For Immediate Release

July 6, 2015

Contact: Tammy Sharp

Public Information Director

ICYMI: JRTC 'Geronimo' Changes Command
FORT POLK, La. - The 1st Battalion, 509th Parachute Infantry Regiment
welcomed a new battalion commander July 1 in a change of command ceremony
when the 'Geronimo' Battalion said farewell to Lt. Col. Matthew Tackett, the
outgoing commander, and welcomed Lt. Col. Curtis Lee Rowland Jr., incoming

The 1-509th is the near-peer threat, or opposing forces, to rotational units
at the Joint Readiness Training Center and supports rotations here by
providing a small, local friendly force and large opposing force in Decisive
Action training environment rotations. During mission readiness exercises,
these paratroopers provide the friendly partnered forces, such as Afghan
Army, Border Police and Uniformed Police.

Attending the ceremony with the Commander of Operations Group, Col.
Christopher C. LeNeve, were members from World War II who served in this
battalion. LeNeve knows how challenging this mission is at the Joint
Readiness Training Center: Testing brigade combat teams in "the box"
(training area).

"The infantry battalion that stands before you today, has arguably one of
the most important missions in our nation's Army, and that is to fight
against the BCTs that come to JRTC, testing their wartime mission," said

Tackett said his previous command teams and leaders never let him down in
the 21 rotations he was their commander. "Always building on the legacy of
World War II, this organization remained true to the 'Geronimo' reputation,"
said Tackett.

Tackett will serve as the Task Force Senior of Task Force 3, Operations
Group, JRTC. Task Force 3 is an Infantry Task Force and pairs with an
infantry battalion during JRTC rotations.
"I am ever minded that not one of you chose me as your battalion commander,"
said Rowland as he addressed the formation of Soldiers. "Therefore, I must
earn your trust, confidence, and respect every day."

Rowland will have a robust mission to take on, as just last year the
battalion added two companies: Easy Company - an infantry company with
pathfinder capabilities - and Charlie Company, a forward support company.
Geronimo also has additional enablers like Cyber, Information Operations.
Rowland joins 1-509 from 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault).

Kim Reischling
Command information/media relations chief
Fort Polk Public Affairs Office
BB: 337-353-7079


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