The 2nd Engineer Battalion 40th Mobility Augmentation Co. welcomed a new commander during a change of command ceremony May 21.
Capt. Nathaniel Weander assumed command of the company as outgoing Company Commander Capt. Dusty Turner prepares to leave WSMR. 2nd Engineer Battalion commander Lt. Col. James Koeppen spoke about his experience working with Turner.
“Since I assumed command of the battalion last June, I have enjoyed the opportunity to work with Capt. Turner and observe his leadership of the company,” Koeppen said. “He’s a very thoughtful, intelligent, humble leader who cares for his Soldiers and their Families.”
In April 2013, Turner deployed to take command of the 40th MAC in Afghanistan. During his six-month deployment Turner suffered a traumatic brain injury from an IED blast.
“What I appreciate about Dusty is that he took that experience and led by example to show his Soldiers that, number one, it is okay to admit that you’re hurt and that you need help and you need treatment. He showed his Soldiers that by following doctor’s orders and doing what you can do. He is a shining example of what we expect of our leaders,” Koeppen said.
Turner will be going to grad school at Ohio State University with a follow on assignment at the U.S. military academy. Turner thanked his wife and all the Soldiers he has worked with and left the 40th MAC with a final statement.
“The good news, Punishers, (is that) you have a highly qualified and motivated leader, and close friend of mine, ready to step up and lead this company through the next phase of change,” Turner said.
Weander is a native of Nebraska. He was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant into the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in May 2008 from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Weander’s troop assignments include Platoon Leader of the 23rd Sapper Co, Executive Officer of the 84th Engineer Support Co, and Executive Officer HHC, 2d Engineer BDE.
“Punishers, today I challenge you to become a learning organization. In the next few months, we will rediscover capabilities our regiment lost over a decade ago,” Weander said.
The 40th MAC first came to WSMR when the 2nd Engineer Battalion was organized at the range in October 2008. The company deployed to Afghanistan in May 2010 and again in January 2013.
The 2nd Engineer Battalion is currently undergoing reorganization. One company has been reassigned, while another is pending to be relocated. The 40th MAC, currently made up of 116 Soldiers, is scheduled to inactivate by June 2015. Its Soldiers will be distributed across the Army and the remaining battalion and leadership will move to Fort Bliss, Texas. Many of the Soldiers will rejoin the battalion at Fort Bliss under other companies.