By Lee Rials, WHINSEC public affairs /
FORT BENNING, Ga. – The Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation celebrated its 16th anniversary Jan. 12 with toasts and a cake, but that was only one of four significant WHINSEC events on the day.
Just before the anniversary event, Guatemalan Army Col. Francisco R. Rivera accepted the symbols of his new rank from his family, along with the congratulations of WHINSEC and his team in the School of Professional Military Education. Col. Rivera came to WHINSEC to be an instructor in March, 2014. He is scheduled to return to his Army in June.
In another ceremony, Peruvian Army Maj. Ericson Zelada was awarded the U.S. Army Meritorious Service Medal by Institute Commandant, Col. Keith Anthony, then was recognized by the U.S. Cavalry and Armor Association as a “Noble Patron of Armor,” with CSM Abel Tavera and Mexican Army Col. Alejandro Nuñez presenting the medallion and certificate.
The award recognizes Armor and Cavalry supporters (in this case a foreign officer working directly with U.S. Army organizations in support of armor, cavalry or reconnaissance missions) who have significantly contributed to the organization’s operational success, Trooper morale and welfare.
Culminating the day’s activities, Col. Anthony presided over the transfer of command of the Headquarters and Headquarters Company from Capt. Erika Pellot to Capt. Jimmyvan Cogles in a ceremony in the WHINSEC auditorium.
Capt. Pellot has been assigned to WHINSEC three times, the first as a personnel clerk. She returned to WHINSEC after commissioning to be a course director, then took command of the Headquarters Company.
Capt. Cogles had been serving as an instructor in the Maneuver Captains Career Course-WHINSEC prior to taking command.