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Story by: Major Kathy Oliver - 27th Brigade Combat Team
Dated: Mon, Mar 29, 2010
Buffalo --Soldiers of the 2nd Squadron, 101st Cavalry (Reconnaissance, Surveillance and Target Acquisition) welcomed their new commander, Major Henry Pettit, in a ceremony at the Masten Avenue Armory in Buffalo on March 27.
Pettit took command from Lieutenant Colonel David Dunkle who led the Squadron for over four years that culminated in deployment to Afghanistan in 2008 for support of Operation Enduring Freedom. During deployment, the Squadron performed as a Security Forces Battalion for Combined Joint Task Force Phoenix with the mission to train and mentor the Afghan National Security Forces that included both the Army and Police.
Brig.Gen. Steven Wickstrom, Commander of the 42d Infantry Division, presided over the ceremony. During his address, Wickstrom thanked Dunkle for “carrying the rucksack” for such a long time.
“Enjoy this time in Battalion Command as it will probably be the last that you truly have to Soldier with Soldiers. The assignments forward from this point take you further away from the troops," Wickstrom told Pettit.
Colonel Geoffrey Slack, Commander of the 27th Brigade Combat Team also thanked Dunkle and his wife Susan for their commitment to the National Guard, and he welcomed Pettit to the Brigade and to the Squadron.
“Maj. Pettit is the best Major in the State of New York, or else he wouldn’t have been selected for this position," Slack told the Soldiers.
In his parting remarks, Dunkle commended the Soldiers of the Squadron for always “performing to the standard."
“Never expect anything less from them. Give them something to do, and expect them to complete the mission to the standard," Dunkle told Pettit.
Maj. Pettit has held a number of challenging leadership and staff assignments that include Rifle Company Commander, Battalion Personnel Officer, Area Officer in Charge and Executive Officer of the New York Army National Guard Recruiting and Retention Command.