EAGLE BASE, Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina -- Army Secretary Thomas White took very little time to check up on his subordinates as he paid a visit to Stabilization Force 12 soldiers at Eagle Base just 24 hours after the formal assumption of command.
The 28th Infantry Division of the Pennsylvania National Guard assumed command of Multinational Division (North) from Hawaii’s 25th Infantry Division during an official transfer of authority ceremony just the day before.
In addition to introducing himself to Brig. Gen. John T. von Trott, commanding general of MND (N), White also took time to visit with several of the enlisted soldiers who will be “on point” for America during the rotation, which is expected to last the next six months.
Dining in the award-winning Balkan Grill, White emphasized the importance of reserve component troops as America continues to fight global terrorism.
"The active Army cannot move today without the Guard and Reserve,” said Secretary White. “The Army is truly integrated. I cannot tell the difference between active duty, guard, and reserve soldiers when I meet with them all over the world."
SFOR 12 is the first rotation in the seven years of the mission that is comprised nearly entirely of National Guard and Army Reserve citizen-soldiers. The 28th Infantry Division is the third National Guard headquarters element to assume command of MND (N) following the 49th Armored Division (SFOR 7) and the 29th Infantry Division (SFOR 10).
After lunch concluded, Secretary White posed for pictures and handed each of the soldiers a coveted commander’s coin to formally acknowledge their contributions to the nation.