Col. Roberson becomes 1st Signal Brigade's 30th Commander
USAG YONGSAN, South Korea -- The 1st Signal Brigade held its Change of Command ceremony at USAG Yongsan's Knight Field July 16.
Families, Soldiers, Brigade leaders and civilians of 1st Signal Brigade and United Nations Command, Combined Forces Command, United States Forces Korea, the Republic of Korea Army and Eighth Army bid farewell to outgoing commander, Col. Paul H. Fredenburgh III, and welcomed Col. Arvesta P. Roberson as the 30th Commander of the "Voice of the ROK."
The Eighth Army Band provided the music for the ceremony. Master Sgt. Erica D. Williams, 1st Signal Brigade's SHARP Coordinator, narrated the ceremony and Lt. Col. Timothy D. Smith, Brigade Chaplain, gave the invocation. A bouquet of yellow roses was presented to Roberson's wife, Lt. Col. Rochelle Roberson, U.S. Army Ret., embodying the trust and friendship of the 1st Signal Brigade that will develop over the course of her husband's tour.
The ceremony was a silent one in which all commands to the formation were executed using visual communication aides. Adopted in 1914, the Signal Corps Flag Signaling System is a communication system in which a Soldier signals with two hand flags to relay information. Though no longer used in today's modern Army, it is still a proud tradition of the Signal Corps. Sgt. 1st Class Kenneth B. Tucker and Sgt. 1st Class John D. Hansen, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Signal Brigade, relayed the commands for the ceremony.
Fredenburgh and Roberson took their positions on the ready line in front of the staff and formation. With Lt. Col. John K. Harris, Deputy Commander, 1st Signal Brigade, the inspection of the troops began. Once the commanders completed their inspection, it was time for Fredenburgh to pass the colors onto Roberson. Lt. Gen. Bernard S. Champoux, Commanding General, Eighth Army, oversaw the passing of the colors for the change of command ceremony.
The colors of the 1st Signal Brigade holds the glories of the past, stands as a guardian over its present and ensures inspiration for its future. Command Sgt. Maj. Andy G. Frye, 1st Signal Brigade Command Sergeant Major, handed Fredenburgh the colors for the last time, signifying his last act of allegiance to the outgoing commander and thanking him for his leadership.
Fredenburgh then passed the colors to Champoux, representing his last act as 1st Signal Brigade's Commander and thanking him for the opportunity to have led such an important unit on the Korean Peninsula.
Champoux then presented Roberson with the colors, ensuring that he trusts Roberson's abilities to lead and take responsibility of the 1st Signal Brigade and all of its Soldiers. Finally, Roberson then passed the colors to Frye, signifying his first act as commander and representing the confidence he has in the partnership with the Noncommissioned Officer Corps.
Fredenburgh was born in Albany, N.Y. and graduated from Norwich University in Northfield, Vt. in 1988 with a Bachelor's of Science degree in Electrical Engineering before being commission as a second lieutenant. He also earned a Master's of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval College of Command and Staff in Newport, R.I. and a Master's of Science in National Resource Strategy from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, Nation Defense University at Ft. McNair in Washington, D.C.
With assignments in the Republic of Panama, Fort Bragg, N.C., Haiti, Fort Campbell, Ky., Fort Lewis, Wash., The Pentagon, the Republic of South Korea and two deployments to Iraq, Fredenburgh possesses a wealth of knowledge and military experience. His military education includes the Infantry Officer Basic Course, Airborne School, Ranger School, the Signal Officer Advanced Course, Combined Arms Service Staff School, and Air Assault School.
Fredenburgh's awards and decorations are highlighted by the Bronze Star, Defense Meritorious Service Medal and Meritorious Service Medal.
For two years, Fredenburgh commanded the 1st Signal Brigade and faced the task of maintaining communications and mission command capabilities for nearly 30,000 combined and joint warfighters across the Korean Peninsula's theater of operations.
Champoux said, "Today marks a brilliant and defining moment of the career of a brave Signal Soldier and leader. Col. Fredenburgh bids farewell to those who he has faithfully and selflessly served here on the Korean peninsula."
"Not only did you make a significant difference and earn the respect of all of those you served, but your selfless and humble service has strengthened Eighth Army and the greatest alliance in the world," Champoux said. "We wish you and your family the very best."
Roberson, born in San Diego, Calif., is a Distinguished Military Graduate of the University of West Florida. He holds a Bachelor's of Science in Electrical Engineering and a Master's of Arts in Telecommunication Management and Information Systems from Webster's University.
His military education includes the Infantry Officer Basic Course, Airborne School, the Bradley Fighting Vehicle Commander's Course, the Signal Corps Transition and Advanced Courses, Mobile Subscriber Equipment Systems Controller Course, COMSEC Custodian Course, Combined Arms Services Staff School, and the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College.
Roberson has served at The Pentagon, the Republic of Korea, Germany, Bosnia, Fort Hood, Texas and a deployment to Kuwait. His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star, the Meritorious Service Medal and the Bronze Order of Mercury.
"Col. Roberson brings a wealth of experience to the team," Champoux said. "As an integral part to the mission, given the uncertainty to the North, your leadership is key to leading us into the future. You come to us with a great reputation for selfless service and leadership. You are a great addition to the team and we know you will continue to strengthen the alliance."
Fredenburgh took the podium and addressed the audience as the outgoing commander. "To begin, I want to recognize the men and women in formation behind the colors. They are a representation of the over 2,000 Soldiers, Department of the Army and Korean National civilians, and KATUSAs who build, operate, defend and extend the cyber domain to enable mission command in this theater," Fredenburgh said.
"I take away from this assignment an extreme sense of team accomplishment, great experiences, memories and friendships that I will cherish for a lifetime," said Fredenburgh. "The members of this Brigade are the most dedicated and determined group I have ever seen and they represent the best our nation has to offer. It has been a distinct honor and privilege to serve with you as your commander."
Roberson, as the new commander of the 1st Signal Brigade said, "First, I am grateful and honored to be standing here before you. In the rich history and importance of this brigade, I am truly humbled. I know of no other place I would rather be serving than with the 1st Signal Brigade."
"General Champoux, thank you for the opportunity to serve as a commander under your leadership. I look forward to leading and learning under your mentorship. Col. Fredenburgh, I truly appreciate your briefings, the superb staff engagements, and the tremendous warfighter capability you've turned over to me," Roberson added. "To the members of the 1st signal brigade, I challenge you to live beyond your values, exude the warrior ethos, and always be ready to fight tonight. As a team, I am confident we will confront challenge, conquer adversity, and soar to excellence."