Lt. Col. Richard Felices replaced Lt. Col. David Koonce as the commander of the Criminal Investigation Battalion during a change of command ceremony July 12 at the Benning Conference Center.
“This ceremony recognizes the formal transition of commanders, which come and go, but also demonstrates the enduring nature of the organization,” said Col. Jan Apo, commander of the 3rd Military Police Group and reviewing officer.
Apo said she was excited to welcome Felices and his family to the battalion.
“Rick and Karina, we are very excited to have you both on our team and I know you will continue to develop this fine battalion during your tenure,” Apo said. “Your recent law enforcement expertise and combat experience will make this transition as seamless as possible.”
Felices said he felt “heartfelt gratitude and appreciation” for the privilege to be able to serve as commander of the battalion.
His last assignment was as the U.S. Army Japan Military Police Battalion (Provisional) commander and U.S. Army Garrison-Japan, director of Emergency Services.
Koonce said the two had worked together in the past and felt comfortable relinquishing command to Felices.
“I am pleased to have the opportunity to turn over command of this great battalion to you,” Koonce said. “I know that the battalion is in good hands and that you are the right person to lead them into the future.”Felices thanked the Koonce family for welcoming his own family into the battalion and wished the family “godspeed and good luck at Human Resources Command.”
Apo highlighted several of Koonce’s accomplishments during his two years as commander.
“Dave is a seasoned professional who has deployed seven times in his career and served in a variety of challenging positions,” Apo said. “Dave’s tenure has been marked by several key challenges and significant events.”
Apo said CID opened more than 1,500 reports and investigations, recovered more than $2 million in government funds, and solved many crimes, “making his area of operations safer for Soldiers and civilians.”“You leave the battalion better than you found it and we wish you the best as you move on to your next assignment at HRC managing missing personnel,” Apo said.
Koonce said the Soldiers standing in formation at the ceremony represent a sample of the agents in the battalion.
“They represent the 80 plus CID agents from the battalion who are spread throughout the southeastern part of the United States, the Caribbean and Central and South America,” Koonce said.
“They are Soldiers, special agents — professionals,” he said. “These are the persons Soldiers fear and that commanders don’t want to receive a phone call from. Yet they are the ones scarred by images, witnesses at crime scenes — they are the ones that bring justice to victims, they are the ones who attempt to remove crime-induced conditions and they are the ones who are disheartened when all their best efforts result in no action taken.”
Koonce’s next assignment is commander of Human Resources Command Military Police Enlisted branch at Fort Knox, Ky.