The 3rd Infantry Division’s 3rd Sustainment Brigade got a new commander Friday morning during a ceremony on Fort Stewart’s Cottrell Field.
Col. Ron Novack handed over command of the Providers Brigade to Col. Tony Coston after 26 months in command, which included a nine-month combat tour in Afghanistan. The unit returned from that deployment in September.
Prior to the official change-of-command ceremony, Novack was awarded his second Legion of Merit by Maj. Gen. Mike Murray, commander of the 3rd ID and Stewart-Hunter. Novack also has a Bronze Star with three oak leaf clusters and several other medals and appurtenances.
Novack’s wife, Jackie, also received an award. Murray placed an Outstanding Service Medal around her neck for her tireless efforts in supporting the unit’s spouses, then he shook the hands of the Novacks’ daughters, Taylor and Emma.
“I’ve been very, very blessed to have been able to command four times,” Novack said. “It has been a pleasure to command the 3rd Sustainment Brigade. I can’t think of a finer organization.”
Novack told the soldiers surrounding him the three things most important to him are his faith, his family and his health. His next duty assignment is as deputy commander for Capabilities, Development and Integreation, Combined Arms Support Command at Fort Lee, Va.
Coston, Novack’s replacement, is a third-generation Army officer from Hot Springs, Ark. He comes to Stewart from the Army War College at Fort McNair, Washington, D.C. Coston and his wife, Stephanie, have two children, Cole and Caitlin. Both are students at Bradwell Institute. He noted this is their 15th move in 23 years of marriage.
He told Novack before he moves his family to Virginia, he should make sure his daughters have a cat to take with them. If they do not have one, he jokingly offered to give the Novacks his cat.
Read more in the Nov. 2 edition of the News.