MILWAUKEE – One of the Wisconsin Army National Guard’s largest troop formations has a new commander at the helm after a formal ceremony in Milwaukee March 4.
The nearly 1,700-Soldier 157th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, known as the “Iron Brigade,” bid farewell to outgoing commander Col. David O’Donahue after two years leading the brigade. Col. J.R. Treharne succeeds him as the new commander.
For his efforts in shaping the Iron Brigade, O’Donahue was awarded the Legion of Merit. O’Donahue will become Wisconsin’s next Assistant Adjutant General for Support to Civil Authority later this month.
In his final remarks to the 157th, O’Donahue thanked his family, the Soldiers and the unit’s family readiness group leaders for their efforts during his tenure as commander.
“I will soon have to remove the Iron Brigade patch from my sleeve,” he said. “But I can tell you that I will always have the 157th in my heart. Thank you for everything you’ve done.”
He went on to praise the brigade’s battalion leadership teams and the service of his brigade command sergeant major.
“Command Sgt. Maj. Daniel Sullivan is the finest NCO in the Army,” O’Donahue said.
He continued to say that the success of the 157th during his time in command could not have happened without the excellent work of the entire brigade’s NCO corps.
In his last official act as commander, O’Donahue passed the brigade colors to Brig. Gen. Mark Anderson, Wisconsin’s deputy adjutant general for Army, who then presented them to Treharne, formally completing the change of command.
Treharne said that he is grateful for the opportunity to lead the 157th.
“There is nothing that compares to command,” he said.
Treharne also thanked Maj. Gen. Donald Dunbar, Wisconsin’s adjutant general, and Anderson for entrusting him with the opportunity.
Treharne has three combat deployments: two in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and one in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, from which he returned in November. He also serves full-time as the deputy chief of staff of operations and plans for the Wisconsin Army National Guard.
Headquartered in Milwaukee, the 157th is a diverse brigade with units statewide spanning artillery, engineer and support units, all of which can be employed in support of the National Guard’s federal mission as the Army’s primary combat reserve, or here in the state as the first military responder.