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Minnesota National Guard
Special Troops Battalion Change of Command

Command Sgt Maj Doug Wortham passed the 34th Division Special Troops Battalion colors to Lt. Col. Steven Hanson for the last time during a ceremony at the Inver Grove Heights Armory Aug 28th. The event marked the end of an era with the deactivation of the Division Special Troops Battalion (DSTB) and activation ceremony for the Division Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion (DHHB)

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Command of the Division Special Troops Battalion was relinquished by Hanson with the casing of the DTSB colors. Command of the Division Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion were then assumed by Lt. Col. Matthew Vatter with the uncasing of the DHHB colors.

Hanson commanded the DSTB during the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division deployment to Basrah, Iraq in 2009  While serving as Mayor of Contingency Operating Base (COB) Basra, home to more than 9,000 personnel, Hanson's team made more than $42 million in improvements to the base

"Lt. Col. Hanson's performance while serving in the hardest Lt. Col. job in the division was outstanding," said Maj Gen Richard Nash, 34th Red Bull Infantry Division Commander  "He took a very austere and challenging location and turned it into the premier COB in the Southern Provinces that I had responsibility for"

In passing the command of the battalion, Hanson wished Vatter the best of luck as he goes forward with the DHHB "I am proud of the Soldiers of the battalion, especially during the deployment to Iraq," Hanson remarked during the ceremony

As the DSTB colors departed the drill floor, the DHHB colors were handed to Command Sgt Maj Wortham, the battalion Command Sgt Maj, who passed them to Maj. Gen. Nash 

The division commander handed the colors to Vatter as part of the ceremony to give him command of the DHHB  Vatter and Wortham uncased the battalion colors, thus commissioning the Division Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion

"Lt. Col. Vatter is highly respected throughout the division," said Maj. Gen. Nash  "He has earned the right to command the battalion"

Hanson said Vatter will take charge of a highly successful group of Soldiers  "They are capable of achieving miracles," he said

Story and photos by Master Sgt Rich Kemp
34th Red Bull Infantry Division Public Affairs
28 Aug 2010

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