Fort McCoy News July 12, 2013

Klawunder assumes command of 181st

Public Affairs Staff

Col. Shawn E. Klawunder is the new commander of the 181st Infantry Brigade at Fort McCoy. Klawunder assumed command from outgoing Commander Col. Eric J. Angeli during a June 28 ceremony at Fort McCoy.

Maj. Gen. Warren E. Phipps Jr., commanding general of Division West of First Army, presided over the change of command held at Parade Field No. 1.

PHOTO Klawunder
Col. Shawn E. Klawunder, the incoming commander of the 181st Infantry Brigade, accepts the unit's guidon from Maj. Gen. Warren E. Phipps Jr., commanding general for Division West First Army at a change-of-command ceremony.

Klawunder comes to Fort McCoy after serving as the deputy commander of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division of Fort Carson, Colo. Angeli is moving to Washington, D.C., to join the Department of the Inspector General as chief of the inspection branch.

The 181st provides support to the reserve-component commands for mobilization preparation.

Klawunder's experience includes deployments to support Operation Iraqi Freedom from January 2004 to February 2005 and Operation Enduring Freedom in Herat, Afghanistan from June 2011 to June 2012. Klawunder has held many command and leadership roles during his 23-year Army career. Phipps said the 181st could not accomplish its mission without the tremendous support of the commands throughout the post, and the community embracing its Soldiers and Family members.

Under Angeli, the 181st was the first brigade within First Army to transform from the role of principally overseeing a mobilization training center to support the deployment of reserve-component troops to Iraq and Afghanistan to now supporting the training of the rotational deployment force for the Army National Guard and Reserve.

"We also saw a surge in demobilization based on draw downs in Iraq and Afghanistan," Phipps said. "(The 181st) also supported the WAREX (Warrior Exercise) and CSTX (Combat Support Training Exercise) exercises of the 78th and 86th Training Divisions at Fort McCoy."

The 181st supports First Army training and missions outside of Fort McCoy, including in Afghanistan, as well.

"As I said in comments before the ceremony, I could always expect short, candid, clear and concise advice from you," Phipps said to Angeli. "With every mission I asked, you always completed missions with only the smallest of requests and the guarantee the job would be well done. A division command could ask no more from a brigade commander."

Klawunder brings to Fort McCoy a wealth of experience from his leadership assignments, assistant professor duty and combat tours, Phipps said.

"Shawn's experience and relationships will help forge the future success of the brigade and facilitate the continued bonding with the leadership at Fort McCoy and across the Division West," Phipps said. "Shawn, you're the right leader at the right time to lead the 181st."

Angeli said the people should not mistake the relatively small number of Soldiers in the 181st with the magnitude of the impact they have. "This brigade has helped pioneer what we believe is First Army's future in supporting our reserve-component partners as they plan, train and prepare to deploy in support of our country's needs," he said. "Those before you are the catalysts for designing and potentially redefining First Army's role for training support brigades in the years to come."

Klawunder extended a welcome to the 181st's training partners, the installation's staff and the community.

"General Phipps, thanks for the opportunity to command, what an unbelievable privilege," he said. "It's an exciting time in our Army full of challenges and opportunities."

In addition to looking forward to working with the troops, Klawunder said he is looking forward to working with the Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security and their incredible training facilities to develop first-class training for the Army.