By Christine June
Lt. Col. Stephen Lockridge relinquished command of the U.S. Army Recruiting Battalion – Harrisburg to Lt. Col. Brian Jenkins in a change of command ceremony held May 20 at the Reynolds Theater on Carlisle Barracks in Carlisle, Pa.
The 1st Recruiting Brigade Commander Col. Frank Hall presided over the ceremony, which was attended by more than 100 Soldiers, civilians, synergy partners, family and friends of the Harrisburg Recruiting Battalion, known as “The Steel Battalion.”
“He set and enforced incredibly high standards,” said Hall as he described Lockridge’s leadership style during his two-year tenure as the battalion commander. “He supported his Soldiers, civilians and families and worked tirelessly to provide the resources needed to support the mission – all the while ensuring the battalion was set on the path to a successful transformation to Pinnacle.”
At the beginning of Lockridge’s leadership, the battalion reorganized under the Pinnacle (team recruiting) concept, when the first of its seven companies – the Harrisburg Recruiting Company – transformed to Pinnacle Recruiting. The remaining six companies are scheduled to convert by the end of the current fiscal year under Jenkins’ leadership.
“It was based on Stephen’s leadership and the strength of the noncommissioned officers of ‘The Steel Battalion’ that drove us (the brigade) to select this battalion to be the very first to transition to the new Pinnacle approach to recruiting in the brigade,” Hall said.
Hall added that the battalion led more than 3,500 Americans to the Regular Army and another 1,400 to the Army Reserves.
“My message today is not about the accomplishments of the great ‘Steel Battalion’ over the last two years, but about the relationships forged while striving to achieve these challenges as the organization matured and made the transition from a team of teams to a family,” is how Lockridge started his last speech to his team of the past two years.
True to his beginning, Lockridge kept his speech personal for his company commanders, station commanders, recruiters and headquarters’ staff.
“You are an outstanding group of professionals, and I will miss the personal relationship we forged while leading the organization toward mission accomplishment,” said Lockridge, as a way of “a goodbye for now.”
Lockridge’s next assignment is as the director of Deployment and Transformation for the General Fund Enterprise Business Systems Program Management Office in Alexandria, Va.
About The Harrisburg Recruiting Battalion:
The Harrisburg Battalion is one of eight battalions that make up the 1st Recruiting Brigade, headquartered at Fort Meade, Md. The battalion is divided into seven companies: Carlisle; State College; Lehigh Valley; Greensburg; Pittsburgh; Clarion; and, Harrisburg. The battalion covers the recruiting mission of 43 Regular Army stations and predominately fills two Army Reserve Commands. It covers 51 of 67 counties in Pennsylvania or approximately 34,705 square miles. Assigned to the battalion are 13 officers, 255 enlisted members, of which 222 are on-production recruiters, and 19 civilians.