By Sgt. Von Marie Donato
Col. Oscar W. Doward Jr. relinquished his role as commanding officer to Col. Douglas W. Mills during the change-of-command ceremony for the 2503rd Digital Liaison Detachment at U.S. Army Central headquarters July 19.
The DLD serves as a mission command enabler, tailored to provide specialized and technological liaison services through communication capabilities, logistical reinforcements and administrative support for joint and coalition forces in the Middle East and central Asia region. The unit was activated in 2016 as the sole active-duty DLD stateside.
Maj. Gen. David C. Hill, the deputy commanding general, USARCENT, hosted the ceremony and provided remarks to honor both the outgoing and incoming commanders.
“For the past nearly two years, Colonel Oscar W. Doward Jr. has led the 2503rd DLD, and he set the bar high as he brought the unit through its activation,” Hill said. “Today, we welcome Colonel Doug W. Mills and his family to our team, knowing he has his work cut out for him, as did Oscar when he arrived.”
As the inaugural commander of the only active-duty DLD stateside, Doward expressed his deepest gratitude to the Soldiers who firmly stood alongside him during the initial activation and enduring growth this unit embraced amid his tenure.
“I cannot state strongly enough how much this core group of digital warriors supported me, and believed in the purpose and vision I shared with them,” Doward said. “My officers and NCO’s spent countless hours researching doctrine and discussing how our capabilities should best be incorporated into USARCENT’s mission command gaps with its unified action partners. It has been an honor and privilege to serve as your commander.”
Mills, the new commander for the detachment, honored the endeavors of his new organization and encouraged their steadfastness and perseverance as they approach evolving demands.
“To the Soldiers and leaders of the 2503rd, you have achieved much in a short amount of time. Your hard work and professionalism are clearly apparent,” Mills said. “We will face many new challenges, and I am looking forward to meeting those challenges with each of you, shoulder to shoulder, as your commander.”
Mills ended by thanking all those who attended the ceremony and lauded Doward for establishing a solid foundation toward the continued growth in support of the USARCENT commanding general, Lt. Gen. Michael X. Garrett.
Flexible and adaptable, the DLD is made up of 30 Soldiers who possess diverse capabilities that directly support warfighting functions. Ready-to-deploy teams have the ability to establish communication cells in a short time period, increasing mission capabilities while maintaining interoperability with partner nations and enhancing partner capacity throughout the USARCENT area of operations.
U.S. ARMY RESERVE
DEPT. OF DEFENSE
U.S. CENTRAL COMMAND
DEPT. OF HOMELAND SECURITY
BEST WARRIOR COMPETITION