Col. Toner assumes command of Warrior Transition Command

July 11, 2014

By Libby Howe, Army News Service

Col. Chris Toner, Commander, Warrior Transition Command (WTC), passes the unit colors to Command Sgt. Maj. Matthew T. Brady, WTC, during an assumption of command ceremony, Friday, July 11, Pentagon Courtyard. (U.S. Army by Ms. Libby Howe, ARNEWS)

Washington, D.C. -- Col. Chris Toner took the helm of a Warrior Transition Command (WTC) that is reorganizing to better serve a somewhat smaller population of wounded, ill and injured Soldiers.

Toner assumed command Friday during a ceremony in the Pentagon Courtyard. He comes to WTC after serving as chief of staff of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

Due to the decrease of injured Soldiers to its lowest levels since 2007, five of the 29 Warrior Transition Units and all nine of the Community Based Warrior Transition Units (CBWTUs) are inactivating in a reorganization that began in January. In their place will be 13 new Community Care Units (CCUs) which will stand up by September.

"Force restructuring, rolling out Community Care Units, will help the Soldiers to transition closer to home," said Brig. Gen. David E. Wilmot, the Army's assistant surgeon general for force projection, who presided over the ceremony.

The WTC changes are designed to improve the care and transition of Soldiers through increased standardization, cadre to Soldier ratios, and access to resources on installations, officials said. The restructuring also aims to reduce the transfer and evaluation time which takes an average of 107 days.

The 13 CCUs will stand up at the following Army installations: Fort Carson, Colorado; Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington; Forts Hood and Bliss, Texas; Fort Riley, Kansas; Fort Knox, Kentucky; Forts Benning, Stewart, and Gordon, Georgia; Fort Bragg, North Carolina; and Fort Belvoir, Virginia. Forts Belvoir and Knox will each have two CCUs.

The nine CBWTUs inactivating are located in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, Puerto Rico, Utah and Virginia. The Puerto Rico CBWTU will become a Community Care detachment under the mission command of the Fort Gordon Warrior Transition Battalion.

The Warrior Transition Units (WTUs) inactivating are located at Fort Irwin, California; Fort Huachuca, Arizona; Fort Jackson, South Carolina; Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey; and the one at the United States Military Academy, West Point, New York.

More than 62,000 Soldiers have progressed through WTUS or CBWTUs since 2007 when the command stood up; 46 percent have returned to the force as of this month. A total of 5,635 Soldiers are currently recovering in WTUs across the Army.

Toner was commissioned in 1987 as a distinguished military graduate of the ROTC program at Emporia State University, Emporia, Kansas.

His first assignment was with 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry, 3rd Infantry Division where he served as a Rifle Platoon Leader and Scout Platoon Leader. Over the last 27 years, he has completed a significant number of assignments. He commanded 3rd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division at Fort Hood, Texas, before the brigade reformed and moved to Fort Knox, Kentucky.

In January 2011, the brigade formed Task Force Duke and deployed for 12 months in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Khost and Paktya Provinces, Afghanistan.

Toner's awards include the Valorous Unit Award, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star with Oak Leaf Cluster, Purple Heart, the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Expert Infantryman Badge, the Senior Parachutist Badge, the Air Assault Badge and the Ranger Tab.

At the ceremony, Toner spoke of his confidence in the Soldiers and families he serves:
"Great Soldiers and families know all too well the price of freedom," he said. "The last 13 years of war have tested their strength and resolve but certainly never broken it. To be sure, this is testament to their commitment, professionalism, and patriotism."

 

Video of the Assumption of Command Ceremony, Warrior Transition Command

 

Assumption of Command Photos

Col. Chris Toner, Commander, Warrior Transition Command (WTC), left, passes the unit colors to Command Sgt. Maj. Matthew T. Brady, WTC, during an assumption of command ceremony, Friday, July 11, Pentagon Courtyard. The event was hosted by Brig. Gen. (Promotable) David E. Wilmot, Deputy Commanding General, Support/Assistant Surgeon General for Force Projection. (U.S. Army by Ms. Libby Howe, ARNEWS)
Brig. Gen. (Promotable) David E. Wilmot, Deputy Commanding General, Support/Assistant Surgeon General for Force Projection, left, and Col. Chris Toner, Commander, Warrior Transition Command, cut a celebratory cake following the assumption of command ceremony, July 11, Pentagon Courtyard. (U.S. Army by Ms. Libby Howe, ARNEWS)
Col. Chris Toner, right, arrives for the Army Warrior Transition Command (WTC) assumption of command ceremony, Pentagon Courtyard, July 11. Other members of the official party from the left are Command Sgt. Maj. Matthew T. Brady, WTC, and Brig. Gen. (Promotable) David E. Wilmot, Deputy Commanding General, Support/Assistant Surgeon General for Force Projection. Col. Toner is the new WTC Commander. (U.S. Army by Ms. Libby Howe, ARNEWS)
Brig. Gen. (Promotable) David E. Wilmot, Deputy Commanding General, Support/Assistant Surgeon General for Force Projection, left, accepts the unit colors from Command Sgt. Maj. Matthew T. Brady, Warrior Transition Command, before passing to Col. Chris Toner during an assumption of command ceremony, July 11, Pentagon courtyard. Center, is Col. Toner, new WTC Commander. (U.S. Army by Ms. Libby Howe, ARNEWS)

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The Warrior Transition Command is a major subordinate command under the U.S. Army Medical Command. WTC's mission is to develop, coordinate and integrate the Army's Warrior Care and Transition Program for wounded, ill and injured soldiers, veterans and their families. For more information on WTC, visit the WTC website, www.WTC.army.mil, follow on Twitter at http://twitter.com/armyWTC or join Facebook at http://facebook.com/armyWTC.