Fort Knox, Ky. –
The U.S. Army Marketing and Engagement Brigade, U.S. Army Recruiting Command farewelled Col. Stephen Battle and welcomed Col. Karen Rutka to command of the Army’s most unique brigade, July 7 here.
Rutka takes the reins at USAMEB after a year-long fellowship at the University of Louisville. Taking command of USAMEB is somewhat of a homecoming for the Alaska native, who previously served as Operations Officer at USAREC Headquarters.
Maj. Gen. Johnny Davis, commanding general of USAREC, hosted the ceremony and passing the unit guidon to Rutka as she took command.
Davis praised both commanders during his speech.
During Battles’ tenure, USAMEB significantly impacted the recruiting mission while generating hundreds of thousands of leads, according to Davis.
“Steve’s focus was unique,” Davis said. “He was responsible for supporting our Recruiters everywhere around the world. You stepped into command and addressed a wide mission set. I appreciate your work to connect our Army with the nation.”
Turning to Rutka, Davis said, “You are going to tackle one of the Army’s most strategic and important missions.” “We’re so glad to have you back; you and your family. It’s a tremendous opportunity.”
In his remarks, Battle highlighted the brigade’s accomplishments in reaching millions of Americans with the Army message. That success, according to the outgoing commander, was due to innovations like the launch of a recruiting operations company with the Army Warrior Fitness Team, Army Outdoor team complete with a bass boat, the Army “As You Were Band,” and Army eSports. Longtime battalion assets like the national conventions division and Mobile exhibit company continue to crisscross America, putting the Army in a positive light across the country. The brigade also includes the Army Parachute Team, Golden Knights based at Fort Liberty, North Carolina, and the Army Marksmanship Unit at Fort Moore, Georgia.
“To say that this is the best job ever is an understatement,” Battle said. “It is an astonishingly amazing time with an astonishingly amazing group of people. Through their actions, words and examples, this team of teams effectively communicates to the American People generates interests and informs young Americans, and individuals and organizations about what it means to be in the Army. Every day you impress people and it shows.”
Battle moves on to assignment in Chicago at the Army Enterprise Marketing Office.
In her remarks, Rutka told Battle “I’m so grateful for you handing off this one-of-a-kind brigade.”
Rutka then addressed her battalion commanders on the field.
“You are the Army’s maneuver element for marketing,” Rutka said. “Every day you execute at the tactical, operational, and strategic levels. I know the Army Marketing and Engagement Brigade will continue to crush it.”