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NEWS | June 18, 2024

Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, U.S. Army South welcomes incoming commander

By Sgt. Joshua Taeckens U.S. Army South Public Affairs

On the Army’s 249th birthday, Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, U.S. Army South continued a time-honored tradition as Lt. Col. Laura Hamilton took charge of the battalion during a change of command ceremony at McArthur Parade Field at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas, on June 14.

Maj. Gen. William Thigpen, ARSOUTH commanding general and reviewer for the ceremony, hailed the incoming battalion commander, highlighting her experience as a leader and with taking care of Soldiers.

“You bring superb experience, a breadth of expertise and an incredible work ethic, and I know you will make a huge impact on this talented organization,” Thigpen said to Hamilton. “I am confident you are the right leader at the right time, and I challenge you to add to the battalion’s existing legacy.”

Hamilton accepted the challenge with a promise to the members of the Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion.

“To the Soldiers, civilians and families of ARSOUTH, know that I understand the gravity of the position of commander,” Hamilton assured. “I promise to do everything required to ensure we are ready, we conduct our missions with success and our people have the leadership they deserve.”

As Thigpen welcomed Hamilton and her family, he also expressed immense gratitude for Martinez and her dedication to HHBN while wishing her luck as she and her Family prepared to travel across the world to attend the U.S. Army War College Institute for Advanced Defense Studies in Rome.

After two and a half years of leading HHBN, Martinez departed her command position having made a notable impact on the organization's readiness and morale, said Thigpen.

“She consistently focused on improving our contingency command post by conducting multiple deployment readiness exercises and Soldier individual readiness events, the big task of sustaining and supporting PANAMAX 2022,” Thigpen said. “Above all and most importantly, you put Soldiers’ morale and welfare first, which is the key ingredient in making sure your team was able to focus on the mission and maintain readiness.”

Thigpen went on to highlight Martinez’s actions through eight readiness exercises, two field training exercises, 15 community events, several command post exercises and numerous events with ARSOUTH ’s adopted school, Booker T. Washington Elementary.

“As a leader we start with a vision, but you are the ones who turn your vision into tangible results,” Thigpen said. “Our Army and our nation owe you a great deal of gratitude for your continued professionalism and service.”

In reflection of her time as commander of HHBN and the accomplishments mentioned by Thigpen, Martinez thanked the Soldiers and civilians at ARSOUTH for their dedication and support while attributing the battalion’s success to their contributions.

“All of the achievements the commanding general mentioned have everything to do with you,” Martinez said. “You all are the unsung heroes fighting to go above and beyond everyday to support the ARSOUTH headquarters, and I will cherish the time that I have been allowed to lead such an awesome and phenomenal group of Soldiers.”

Concluding her speech, Martinez wished Hamilton luck, leaving her a piece of advice.

“Take care of the team, and they will take care of you,” Martinez said to Hamilton. “Spartan Six, signing off.”