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Posted: July 20, 2017 2:59 p.m.
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188th CATB welcomes new commander

Photos by Sgt. 1st Class Stephanie Widemond/

Commanders and sergeants major, "Present, Arms" during the change of command ceremony. The 188th Combined Arms Training Brigade is comprised of a headquarters company and eleven battalions geographically dispersed across Georgia and South Carolina.

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Colonel Matthew Fath, outgoing 188th Combined Arms Training Brigade commander, passed the colors to the host of the change of command, for the last time as he bid farewell to the unit that he helped navigate through the Bold Shift transition during his tenure. The Bold Shift intiative transformed how First Army managed its pre-mobilization of guard and reserve units. It called for a virtually a complete restructuring of personnel, focusing more on technical expertise. Before Bold Shift, 188th had mostly infantry and field artillery with combat service support battalions making up its reserve units. Now the brigade has grown to include military police, air defense artillery and engineer assets.

Fath took command of the brigade at the height of Operation Bold Shift, said Maj. Gen. Todd B. McCaffrey, commanding general, First Army Division East.

"[He] build this brigade from nearly the ground up. He is without question the best trainer in Division East and his personal efforts have left an indelibly positive mark on each and every one of his reserve component partners."

Fath will serve as the J3 for Joint Task Force North, at Fort Bliss. Before signing off, he offered the brigade three pieces of advice.

"Never forget where you came from, why you joined, and always rise and fight again," he said, noting that even though perseverance is not an Army Value, it should be.

Replacing Fath is Colonel Steven N. Cho, an armor officer who came to the brigade from the 4th Infantry Division where he served as the division G-3, operations officer.

"It is pretty clear that this brigade is getting a warrior-scholar-trainer who is imminently ready to committing himself to the further advancement of this brigade," said McCaffrey.

Cho began receiving an in-brief about the functions and mission that 188th supports as a part of the Total Army Force Policy in May.

"The soldiers standing before you truly represent the total army force, with a headquarters company and eleven battalions - six active duty battalions and five reserve battalions - charged with ensuring the combat readiness of national guard and reserve units in nine states,” said Cho.

Cho joined the Army in 1995 and has had a distinguished career. He holds a Master of science degree in Astrophysics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and has completed a National Security Fellowship to Harvard University for the U.S. Army War College.


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