By Brian Hill, Fort Leonard Wood Public Affairs Office

FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. (June 22, 2023) — The 3rd Chemical Brigade held a change-of-command ceremony June 21 on Gammon Field, where Col. Fredrick Parker relinquished command of the unit to Col. Hector Montemayor.

The reviewing officer for the ceremony was U.S. Army Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear School Commandant Col. W. Bochat, who said she could tell Parker was “well respected and loved” here.

“I had a former member of your team sit down with me to do an exit interview, and they said they never thought they would love working here so much — and that you built a culture of trust and respect,” said Bochat, who took command of the USACBRNS earlier this month. “As we rehearsed (the change-of-command ceremony) yesterday, I asked you about your one focus. Uninformed of the conversation that I had earlier — during the exit interview I mentioned — you told me your focus was the culture of the organization. Please know that you can leave this field, knowing you accomplished the mission.”

Parker, who will next serve as the executive officer for the Deputy Chief of Staff, G-9, in Washington, D.C., thanked the Soldiers and civilians he worked alongside here over the past two years.

“It did not matter if you were a trainee, drill sergeant, legal clerk or a battalion commander — we all contributed to shaping the foundation of our mighty Army,” Parker said. “I am humbled to stand in formation with every one of you. You worked tirelessly every day because you are truly passionate about our mission.”

Parker also wished Montemayor the best of luck on his “two-year journey,” adding life is not a race, but a journey to be savored each step of the way.

“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery and today is a gift — that’s why we call it ‘the present,’” he said.

Bochat called Montemayor “the right person at the right time” to lead what’s commonly called the Phoenix Brigade.

“I know that you will take the foundation that Fred handed you, and you will be a fine commander for this Phoenix formation,” Bochat said.

Montemayor, originally from San Marcos, Texas, most recently served as the military assistant for the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Space Policy, in Washington, D.C. He said he is “humbled and honored” to be back at Fort Leonard Wood, and he thanked the Maneuver Support Center of Excellence leadership for entrusting him with “the sacred responsibility of command.”

Montemayor also thanked Parker for a smooth transition.

“(You) have built a team of ready, disciplined and trained Phoenix Soldiers, that will generate our future force and lead us into tomorrow’s fight,” Montemayor said. “I feel very privileged to take the colors from you.”

To the brigade, Montemayor asked that they believe in themselves, train hard and support one another.

“You are an inspiration to me and the reason why I continue to serve,” Montemayor said. “Thank you for what you and your families do for the brigade, our incoming Soldiers and our nation. I look forward to our journey together.”

Bochat also offered a message to the participants and attendees at the ceremony.

“To the entire team, be proud of the work you do every single day,” she said. “It makes a difference to our Soldiers out on the battlefield. What you do every day makes a difference, and never forget — the most powerful weapon that we have in our inventory in this nation is the American Soldier.”

Incoming 3rd Chemical Brigade Commander, Col. Hector Montemayor, accepts the unit guidon from U.S. Army Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear School Commandant Col. W. Bochat as outgoing 3rd Chem. Bde. Commander Col. Fredrick Parker (right) looks on during a change-of-command ceremony on Wednesday on Gammon Field. (Photo by Brian Hill, Fort Leonard Wood Public Affairs Office)













About Fort Leonard Wood

Fort Leonard Wood is a thriving and prosperous installation that has evolved from a small basic training post 80 years ago to a premier Army Center of Excellence that trains nearly 80,000 military and civilians each year.

Fort Leonard Wood is home to the U.S Army Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and three U.S. Army schools: the U.S. Army Engineer School; U.S. Army Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear School; and the U.S. Army Military Police School. In addition to training engineer, CBRN and military police specialties for the Army, Fort Leonard Wood also provides gender-integrated in-processing and Basic Combat Training for new Soldiers.

Fort Leonard Wood also hosts and trains with the largest Marine Corps Detachment and Air Force Squadron on any Army installation as well as a large Navy construction detachment.

More information about Fort Leonard Wood is at: