74th Engineer Company change of command

Story by Pvt. Crystal D. Eldridge
13th COSCOM Public Affairs Office

The 74th Engineer Company underwent a change of command Friday at the 13th Corps Support Command Guidon Field, Capt. Andrew Abicht accepting the responsibility of preparing the company for future deployments.

The 74th has been under the command of Capt. Christina Cook, who came to the 62nd Engineer Combat Heavy Battalion in January of 2004. She will continue to work with the 62nd here while the 74th is overseas. Still, having to leave the 74th was not easy for her.

"Getting up and coming to work was not a challenge at all… I (have been) honored to serve as commander," Cook said during the change of command ceremony.

That honor has been passed on to Abicht, a 1998 graduate of Iowa State University who earned a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering. After obtaining a commission through ROTC as a Corps of Engineers officer, he went through the Engineer Officer Basic Course at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., where he graduated with honors.

Abicht was first assigned to the 82nd Engineer Battalion, 1st Infantry Division, Bamberg, Germany. During his time with the 82nd, he deployed to Kosovo as the S-2 Intelligence Officer and Battle Captain. While deployed, he became a platoon leader.

Following his tour with the 82nd, Abicht became the executive officer for Headquarters Headquarters Company, 1st Engineer Brigade, 1st Infantry Division. He was deployed several times with the HHC before volunteering for another rotation to Kosovo. In Kosovo, he served as a Joint Visitor Bureau escort officer.

Upon completion of these deployments, Abicht returned to Fort Leonard Wood for the Engineer Captain's Career Course. While there, he earned a Master of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Missouri-Rolla.

In 2004, after obtaining his master's, Abicht was assigned as the S-4 Logistics Officer for the 62nd Engineer Combat Battalion.

In obtaining command of this company, Abicht is joining a group of soldiers who, since 1941, have distinguished themselves among their comrades. This company has received two Army Meritorious Unit Commendations, one for the Alean Highway and one in Korea.

In 1941 the 74th was activated and served in the Rhineland and Central Europe Campaigns during World War II. The unit was inactivated in 1946.

In 1949, the 74th was once again activated. The company was sent to Korea, taking part in all 10 Korean War Campaigns. Once again, they were deactivated, this time in 1958.

The latest reactivation occurred in 1992. The newly activated unit was attached to the 62nd Engineer Battalion and participated in Operation Desert Storm.

The 74th is responsible for providing personnel and equipment to transport, assemble, disassemble, retrieve and maintain assault float bridges at one or multiple sites. Soldiers of the company assembled the longest assault float bridge since WWII in 1996 in Bosnia.

Despite the distinguished history of the 74th, Lt. Col. John R. Boule, battalion commander, said he feels certain that Abicht will be able to lead this unit. Cook's infectious enthusiasm brought the 74th to where it is, and Abicht, who has proven himself to be an excellent officer and leader, will get the unit ready to deploy once again.

 

Capt Andrew Abicht
The 74th Engineer Company underwent a change of command Friday at the 13th Corps Support Command Guidon Field, Capt. Andrew Abicht accepting the responsibility of preparing the company for future deployments.