By Maj. Joseph Bush
41st Field Artillery Brigade
It was a beautiful Bavarian day on the Tower Barrack Parade in Grafenwoehr, Germany as the 41st Field Artillery Brigade Commander, Col. Seth Knazovich, presided over the activation of 1st Battalion, 77th Field Artillery Regiment, the third and final battalion under the 41st FAB, culminating more than two years of hard work and sacrifice before he relinquished command of the fully formed brigade to Col. Daniel G. Miller.
“I’m very proud to have had the opportunity to be able to reestablish the U.S. long-range artillery presence in here in Europe,” said Knazovich. “I’m very proud of the Soldiers, the men and women of the Rail Gunner Brigade and everything they have created in these last two years to bring this organization to its full fruition.”
Knazovich arrived to the unit in 2018 with only a small group of staff officers and the task of reactivating a field artillery brigade in Europe as directed by the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act. Under his leadership, the unit grew and the 41st FAB was reactivated Nov. 30, 2018. Less than two months later, the 589th Brigade Support Battalion was also reactivated Jan. 11, 2019.
It was not long before the first Multiple Launch Rocket Systems rolled off the train and into the field as the 1st Battalion, 6th Field Artillery was reactivated Sept. 19, 2019 and conducted their first live fire in February 2020.
As the 41st FAB prepared to activate its third and final battalion, the COVID-19 pandemic struck. Much of the unit’s assets and manpower were shifted to support and run Task Force Tower Barracks and keep the Soldiers and community members on Grafenwoehr safe. COVID-19 may have slowed down the process, but it did not stop them from completing their mission of activation.
On Aug. 27,1st Bn., 77th FAR was reactivated as the second MLRS battalion, doubling the U.S. long-range precision fires capabilities in Europe supporting NATO allies and partners.
As Knazovich prepares for his next duty assignment at NATO, he handed the reigns of the Rail Gunners over to Miller, a seasoned 41st FAB veteran who was stationed with the unit twice before it was inactivated in 2015.
“Back when I was a young 2nd lieutenant newly assigned to the 41st [Fires] Brigade in Babenhausen, Germany, as my first duty assignment, I never would have imagined that one day I would assume command of this incredible brigade .” said Miller. “It is a dream come true. I’m truly humbled to serve in this fine organization.”