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(Enlarge) Lt. Col. Mark Towne, outgoing commander for 3rd Battalion, 312th Regiment, passes the battalion colors to Col. Craig Osborne, commander, 174th Infantry Brigade as Lt. Col. Calvin Fish, 3-312th incoming commander, awaits transfer of authority on July 17 on McGlachlin Parade Field. (Photo courtesy of First Army Division East)

Soldiers of First Army Division East's training support unit gathered to bid farewell to the battalion commander and welcome a new leader during a change of command ceremony held July 17 on McGlachlin Parade Field.

Lt. Col. Fish assumed command of 3rd Battalion, 3-312th Regiment from Lt. Col. Mark Towne. The Reserve training unit is headquartered at Fort Meade and subordinate to 174th Infantry Brigade, First Army Division East.

"Lieutenant Colonel Towne and Lieutenant Colonel Fish transition as 3-312th Soldiers are training, certifying, and re-certifying for their wartime mission," said Col. Craig Osborne, commander, 174th Infantry Brigade, at the ceremony. "Continuing the professionalization and development of our trainer mentors is our top priority."

Fish, the former training and executive officer of Basic Combat Training, expressed an appreciation to continue the Army's vital training mission.

"Training is about the basics, taking care of Soldiers and families and providing quality personnel to administer the training," the South Carolina native said. "My biggest challenge will be integrating active and Reserve component leaders and functions, and building on our lessons learned and sharing that knowledge and experience."

Fish's wife, Cheri, and family and friends attended the ceremony in support of this new command position.

Towne, a 26-year veteran of the Army Reserve, served two years as commander of 3rd Battalion, 312th Regiment.

The Minnesota native credited the Soldiers in his ranks for his success. His biggest success, said Towne, was developing leaders and continuing to improve standards by building upon Soldiers' civilian accomplishments.

"If you are successful in your civilian career, you are more likely to be successful in your Army career; it's reciprocal," he said. "Taking that expertise and knowledge and translating it into skills on the training lanes is the reward."

The battalion's mission is to prepare for mobilization to train and assess Reserve component units for missions in support of overseas contingency operations. Many of the Soldiers assigned to 3-312th have served or are currently serving as trainer mentors at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J.

"Many times, our Soldiers are out supporting training missions across the brigade, and it is important to empower these subordinate leaders," Towne said. "Hearing good things about the training our Soldiers provide in the field is a reflection of the caliber of men and women in this command."

The battalion is in the midst of its annual training rotation at JBMDL. By the end of annual training, 3-312th will have gained more certified combat lifesavers and Combatives Level-One certified trainers prepared to train fellow service members for a variety of missions.

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