An Army captain and graduate of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff recently assumed command of a military operation in Afghanistan.
On Jan. 10, Capt. ChaTom Warren assumed command of the 55th MAC Engineer Company during a Change of Command ceremony at FOB Sakari Kharez, Afghanistan.
“I am humble and appreciative to lead soldiers in combat,” Warren said. “This is a milestone in my life that I’ve been looking forward to. I take great responsibility in taking care of the soldiers and making this a more family based unit.”
Warren was born and raised in Luxora, Ark. He is a graduate of UAPB with a bachelor of science degree in industrial technology.
He is married to Marquaita Warren of Pine Bluff and has two daughters; Chasity, 8 years old and Lauren, 4.
The Change of Command ceremony is a formal event conducted between the outgoing and incoming commander.
It is an official passing of responsibility and authority from the old commander to the new. This is generally conducted at all levels of command in the Army.
During the ceremony the commanders perform the passing of the colors. The outgoing commander passes the unit’s flag to the new commander symbolizing the transferring of responsibilities.
The ceremony was overseen by Lt. Col. Michael Cleveland, commander of Task Force Knight, 223rd Engineer Battalion. He emphasized the anguish one must feel giving up the proud colors of their company to move on to another assignment, but assured soldiers that the new commander would take pride in assuming command of this company.
Warren’s previous assignments include Horizontal Platoon Leader, A Company, 84th Engineer Battalion in Al Asad, Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom 05-07; Vertical Platoon Leader, 643rd Engineer Company, 84th Engineer Battalion; Schofield Barracks, Hawaii; Executive Officer, 643rd Engineer Company, 84th Engineer Battalion in Schofield Barracks, Hawaii and Mosul, Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom; Assistant S3 at Mosul, Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom 09-11 and Schofield Barracks, Hawaii; and Assistant Brigade Engineer, 4th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.
Warren’s awards and decorations include the Meritorious Unit Commendation, Bronze Star Medal, Army Commendation Medal, and the Army Achievement Medal.
The 55th Engineer Company is company is nearing the end of its deployment. They are heading home within a few weeks.
“As a leader you accept any challenge and strive to test yourself to be the leader they look for and strive to make you open and available to a lot of things,” Warren said. “This is a true test of character and leadership skills. I feel like an outsider looking in, but God made no mistakes. There’s a reason I’m here and a reason I’ve come to be with these guys who have been together for a long time. I want them to see me as a person and build a personal relationship with the soldiers.”
The 55th Engineer Company was activated on Oct. 8, 1942, in the Army of the United States as Company B, 489th Engineer Water Supply Battalion. From its origin, the company has gone through several reactivation and relocations. The company was reactivated on May 16, 2007, as the 55th Mobility Augmentation Company. On 2011, the unit deployed to the Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
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