Col. Douglas Flohr relinquished command of the Ranger Training Brigade on Fort Benning to Col. John King during a ceremony Friday morning at Hurley Hill undefined a place Fort Benning chief Maj. Gen. Michael Ferriter called the “heart and soul of the brigade.”
Speaking against the backdrop of Victory Pond, where all Ranger School students are required to navigate a formidable water confidence course during phase one of the grueling, 61-day training course, Ferriter praised Flohr and his family for their commitment to the brigade and to the country.
“During his tenure, Doug Flohr produced hardened warriors who continue to lead the way as we execute combat operations overseas,” Ferriter said.
Col. Douglas Flohr, right, outgoing commander of the Ranger Training Brigade, passes the colors to Maj. Gen. Michael Ferriter, commanding general of the Maneuver Center of Excellence, left, during the change of command ceremony Friday morning. Assuming command from Flohr is Col. John King, center
Col. Douglas Flohr, the outgoing commander of the Ranger Training Brigade, gives his remarks during the change of command ceremony Friday morning.
Col. John King, the incoming commander of the Ranger Training Brigade, left, applauds Col. Douglas Flor, the outgoing commander, right after Flohr's remarks Friday morning during the change of command ceremony on Hurley Hill.
Flohr, a native of West Virginia, spent two years as commander of the Ranger Training Brigade, a unit that is responsible for producing combat-ready leaders capable of executing diverse missions in a variety of terrain.
The incoming brigade commander, King, was commissioned as an Infantry officer upon his graduation from Campbell University in North Carolina in 1987.
A recent graduate of the U.S. Army War College at Carlisle Barracks, Pa., King returns to Fort Benning where he served as the brigade executive officer of the Ranger Training Brigade from 2004 to 2005. He has also served as the commander of the 1st Battalion (Airborne), 509th Parachute Infantry Regiment at Fort Polk, La., and as deputy commander of the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) at Fort Campbell, Ky. King has been deployed in support of NATO operations in Bosnia, and combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
As he begins his current command, King said his primary focus will be on tailoring Ranger training to best suit the combat environment soldiers are now encountering in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“We’ve got to make sure, and it’s my responsibility as the commander, to make sure that we’re not training soldiers to fight in 1968, 1975 and so forth,” King said. “We have got to be flexible enough to take lessons learned, that they’re learning in Iraq and Afghanistan, and quickly pull those in and let the soldiers that are going through Ranger School train on those, how to respond, so they’re better prepared when they do deploy.”
Looking back on his time at Fort Benning, Flohr said he hopes his peers and subordinates will remember him as a leader who supported his Ranger instructors and gave them what they needed to produce battle-ready leaders.
“He’s a coach, a teacher, a mentor to his instructors,” Ferriter said. “He continually stressed professionalism. He provided his commanders and his Rangers with the freedom and the resources to train. He trusted his cadre to execute the mission.”
Flohr’s next assignment will take him to Iraq where he’ll be a team chief for the Iraqi Ground Forces Command.
“Ranger School was established 60 years ago and it continues to provide the nation with some of the best combat leaders the world has ever seen,” Flohr said. “And what I’m most proud of as I transition is the soldiers that we produce here, the future combat leadership in the United States Army. I’m going to join those men in Iraq and I know they’re going to Afghanistan and I get to see the end state of what we’ve done here, so I’m pretty happy about that.”
Colonel Douglas L. Flohr Biography
Colonel Douglas L. Flohr was raised in Grafton West Virginia, the oldest son of Samuel and Wanda Flohr. He was commissioned in the Infantry upon graduation from West Virginia University in 1986. His first assignment was to the 4th Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment (MANCHU), 6th Infantry Division, Fort Wainwright, Alaska, as a Platoon Leader, Company Executive Officer and Battalion Adjutant.
Following the Armor Officer Advanced Course in 1990. COL Flohr served as the Assistant S3 in 1st Brigade, 4th Infantry Division at Fort Carson, Colorado. From 1991- 1992 he served as the Company Commander for Echo Company, 1st Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, and from 1992-1993 he served as the Commander of the Long Range Surveillance Detachment (LRSD), 104th Military Intelligence Battalion.
From 1993-1996, COL Flohr was assigned as an Assistant Professor of Military Science at West Virginia University. Following this assignment he served as an Observer Controller at the Joint Readiness Training Center, Fort Polk, Louisiana, from 1996-1998. In 1998, COL Flohr attended the United States Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Upon graduation he was assigned to the Ranger Training Brigade at Fort Benning, Georgia where he served as both Battalion and Brigade S3 Operations Officer.
From 2001-2003, COL Flohr served in the 75th Ranger Regiment at Fort Benning, Georgia, as the Regimental Plans and Liaison Officer. In 2003, he assumed command of the 5th Ranger Training Battalion in Dahlonega, Georgia. In 2005-2007, he served as the Military Assistant to the Secretary of the Army.
COL Flohr’s education includes a Bachelor of Arts degree in History, a Master of Arts degree in Education from West Virginia University, and a Masters degree in Strategic Studies from the United States Army War College. His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal with 8 Oak Leaf Clusters, the Ranger Tab, Combat Infantryman’s Badge and the Master Parachutist Badge. COL Flohr has been married to the former Christina Boyce also of Grafton, West Virginia for twenty-seven years. Christina is a Registered Nurse. They have a daughter and two sons: Rhianna (24), Samuel (22), and Benjamin (12).
COL Flohr was awarded the Legion of Merit for his tenure as the Commander, Ranger Training Brigade.
Colonel John W. King Biography
Colonel John W. King II was raised in Rockingham, North Carolina. He was commissioned in the Infantry upon graduation from Campbell University in 1987. His assignments include: rifle platoon leader and battalion staff positions with 1st Battalion, 61st Infantry, and held brigade staff positions with 1st Brigade, 5th Infantry Division (M), Fort Polk. LA.
Following the Infantry Advanced Course in 1992, COL King served as the Assistant S3 in 2nd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division (L) at Schofield Barracks, HI. From 1993-95 he served as the Battalion Adjutant and Company Commander of Charlie Company,1st Battalion, 14th Infantry.
From 1995-2000 he held Observer Controller positions at the Platoon, Company and Brigade levels while assigned to Operations Group, Joint Readiness Training Center, Ft Polk, LA. In 1999, COL King attended the U.S. Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Upon graduation he served from 2000-2004 in the 10th Mountain Division located at Ft Drum, NY. In the 10th Mtn Div he held positions to include 1st Brigade, S1, 2nd Battalion, 22nd Infantry Operations Officer for SFOR 10, Bosnia, Deputy G3, and 1st Brigade, Operations Officer for OEF IV, Afghanistan. From 2004-2005 he served as the Ranger Training Brigade Executive Officer at Ft Benning, GA.
From 2005-2007 he assumed command of the 1st Battalion (ABN), 509th Infantry (OPFOR) at Ft Polk, LA. From 2007-2009 he served as the Deputy Commander of 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) at Ft Campbell, KY during Operation Iraqi Freedom. His last assignment was as a student at the United States Army War College in Carlisle Barracks, PA.
COL King’s education includes a Bachelor of Arts degree in History, a Master degree of Arts in the Humanities from Louisiana State University, and a Masters degree in the Strategic Studies from the United States Army War College. His awards and decorations include Bronze Star with first oak leaf cluster, the Meritorious Service Medal with 6 Oak Leaf Clusters, Army Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster, Army Achievement Medal with three oak leaf cluster, the Army Superior Unit Award, (Panama), Meritorious Unit Commendation (Iraq), National Defense Service Medal (2), Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (Bosnia), Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary, Global War on Terrorism Service, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Army Service Medal, Overseas Service Medal (3), NATO Medal for Bosnia, French National Defense Medal for Afghanistan, Ranger Tab, Senior Parachutist Wings, Combat Infantryman’s Badge, and German Jump Wings.
COL King is married to the former Kristine L. Bartz of Sacramento, CA. They have a son Trey and a daughter Zoey.