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Minnesota National Guard
1-125th FA Change of Command

The 1st Battalion, 125th Field Artillery conducted a Change of Command Ceremony for Outgoing Commander Lt. Col. Robert C Larsen and Incoming Commander Lt. Col. Troy Soukup in New Ulm, Minn, on Oct 3

"Lt. Col. Larsen and Lt. Col. Soukup are both going to be owners of a great Battalion at very challenging times in the unit's lengthy history," said Cpt Ryan Kelly, 1-125th FA Full-Time Staff Officer in Charge and Battalion Current Operations Officer

"Lt. Col. Larsen reintegrated the Battalion from Operation Iraqi Freedom 06-08, and at the same time ramped the unit back up in preparation for a future deployment, increasing the unit's deployability, training, and strength significantly while he was here"

Having worked with Lt. Col. Larsen, Lt. Col. Soukup is honored to take over his command

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"I have worked closely with Lt. Col. Rob Larsen in three previous assignments," said Lt. Col. Soukup, 1-125th FA Incoming Commander "He is a high quality officer that I have continually gleaned knowledge from He has led the Battalion superbly and I have big shoes to fill"

Following this command, Lt. Col. Larsen will continue to work full-time in the Minnesota Army National Guard

"Lt. Col. Soukup is taking a Battalion that has completed two deployments since Sep 11," Cpt Kelly said "It's an experienced group with a proud and strong history, of which he is a part of as a former Battery Commander and [Current Operations Officer] in the 1-125th FA"

To add to those qualifications, Lt. Col. Soukup has served as Battalion Fire Direction Officer, and has received a Combat Action Badge, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, along with numerous others

"[1-125th FA] has high quality officers, noncommissioned officers, and Soldiers, and there is no other unit I would more like to command," Lt. Col. Soukup said "It is a true honor to be selected to command and guide the Battalion to future success"

During the ceremony, both incoming and outgoing commanders were able to address their Battalion

"There's no question that there were two very proud Lieutenant Colonels here this Saturday; one very proud of where he has brought us, and the other proud of where he is about to take us," Cpt Kelly said

With the New Ulm Battery sounding the cannon, the Battalion colors were handed from Lt. Col. Larsen to Lt. Col. Soukup, signifying the transfer of command

"It's a very exciting and challenging time for the 1-125th, and I'm really proud of working for Lt. Col. Larsen, I'm also excited to do the same for Lt. Col. Soukup," Cpt Kelly said "You can really sense the Soldiers are proud of their leadership, past and future"

by Sgt Jodi Krause,
MN National Guard Public Affairs
3 Oct 2009

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