RICHMOND, Va. –
Lt. Col. Joseph M. Fleishman took command of the Virginia National Guard’s Petersburg-based 276th Engineer Battalion, 329th Regional Support Group, from Lt. Col. Demetrius D. Parrott in a change of command ceremony April 10, 2022, at Defense Supply Center Richmond, Virginia. Col. Michael S. Waterman, the 329th Regional Support Group (Rear) commander, presided over the exchange of unit colors that signified the transfer of command from Parrott to Fleishman.
“Lieutenant Colonel Parrott has commanded the 276th during some of the most challenging years,” said Waterman. “He led this battalion through the pandemic response, civil disturbances, weather related emergencies and a short-notice mobilization and deployment to the Southwest border.”
Waterman thanked Parrott for his outstanding efforts leading the battalion, which traces its roots back to the First Virginia Regiment of the Continental Army in 1775.
“The 276th Engineer Battalion always delivers,” Waterman said. “Whatever is asked, whenever you are called, I know that you’ll get it done.”
During his remarks, Parrott recognized the Soldiers, noncommissioned officers and officers for their support and efforts which made his command successful.
During the ceremony, Command Sgt. Maj. (Select) Galem T. Coleman brought forward the battalion’s colors, then passed them to Parrott which signified his last act of allegiance to him as commander. Parrott then passed the colors to Waterman, signifying that the unit is never without officer leadership. Waterman then passed the colors to Fleishman, charging him with the responsibility and authority as commander. Finally, Fleishman passed the colors back to Coleman affirming the trust he has for the noncommissioned officer corps.
Parrott assumed command of the 276th Engineer Battalion in June 2018. He began his military career as a unit supply specialist with the U.S. Army Reserves. He then earned his commission as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army’s Field Artillery. In 2004, Parrott was assigned to Co. A, 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment and deployed as the company fire support officer in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. While deployed, Parrott was directly involved in two combat actions during the battle of Najaf and Fallujah. In 2006, Parrott transferred to the Virginia National Guard where he was assigned as the Reconnaissance Officer, Headquarters Support Company, 276th Engineer Battalion. In 2007, Parrott assumed command of Co. A, 276th Engineer Battalion. During the battalion’s 2008 deployment, Parrott served as the assistant operations officer. During reintegration in 2010, Parrott assumed command of Headquarters Support Company, 276th Engineer Battalion. In 2012, Parrott served as the Battalion S-4, 116th Brigade Special Troops Battalion until he was reassigned as the environmental officer, Construction and Facility Management Office. In 2014, Parrott was transferred to the 183rd Regiment, Regional Training Institute as the assistant operations officer. From 2015 to 2018, Parrott was reassigned to the 116th Brigade Special Troops Battalion as the S-3 and executive officer. Parrott assumed command of the 276th Engineer Battalion in 2018.
Parrott is a graduate of the Field Artillery Officer Basic Course, Engineer and Quartermaster Captain’s Career Course, Command and General Staff Officers Course, the Advanced Operations Course. He holds a Bachelors of Arts in Sociology with a focus in Criminal Justice from North Carolina State University and a Masters of Arts in Executive Leadership from Liberty University.
Parrott has been awarded the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation medal with Four Oak Leaf Clusters, the Army Achievement Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, the Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal, the National Defense Service Medal with Bronze Service Star, the Global War on Terror Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal with “M” device, the Army Service Ribbon, the Combat Action Badge.
Fleishman commissioned in 2004 as a second lieutenant in the Corps of Engineers. He was initially assigned as a platoon leader, Co. C, 876th Engineer Battalion, Pennsylvania National Guard.
In 2005, Fleishman was assigned to the 856th Engineer Company, 56th Stryker Brigade Combat Team as a platoon leader and executive officer where he oversaw the transition from mechanized to Stryker combat formations. In 2008, Fleishman assumed command of 856th Engineer Company and deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Following redeployment in 2010, Fleishman transferred to the Virginia National Guard where he was assigned as the plans officer and S-4, 276th Engineer Battalion. In 2013, Fleishman was assigned as the protection cell engineer, 29th Infantry Division and deployed in support of Operation Spartan Shield and Operation Inherent Resolve. In 2014, Fleishman was assigned as the S-3 and executive officer, 276th Engineer Battalion. During which time, he also served as the plans officer with the National Guard Bureau’s Continuity Program Management Office. In 2019, Fleishman was assigned as the Chief of the Directorate of Public Works, Maneuver Training Center.
Fleishman is a graduate of the Engineer Officer Basic Course, Engineer Captain’s Career Course, Command and General Staff Officers Course, the Advanced Operations Course, the Explosive Ordnance Clearance Agent Course, the Counter Explosive Hazards Planner Course and the Joint Engineer Operations Course. He holds a Bachelors of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin, a Masters of Engineering in Civil Engineering from the Pennsylvania State University, and a Juris Doctorate from the American University.
Fleishman has been awarded the Bronze Star Medal, the Army Commendation Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, the Joint Service Achievement Medal, the Army Achievement Medal, the Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, the National Defense Service Medal, the Iraq Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terror Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terror Service Medal, the Armed Forces Reserve Medal with “M” device second award, the Army Service Medal, the Overseas Service Ribbon second award, and the Combat Action Badge.
Tracing its roots to the classical era, the change of command ceremony is a military tradition in which uniquely developed flags for each military organization are publicly exchanged from the hands of the former commander to the hands of the new commander. This ceremony symbolically marks the exchange of authority and responsibility among military organizations.
The Petersburg-based 276th Engineer Battalion is an “echelon above brigade” military formation which manages combat construction and general engineering tasks at the division- or corps-levels. The battalion is comprised of the Petersburg-based Headquarters and Headquarters Company, commanded by 1st Lt. Issoufou Boubacar; the Forward Support Company, commanded by Capt. N. Drew Robinson; the Blackstone-based 157th Engineer Platoon, led by1st Lt. Michael D. Deighan; the Powhatan-based 180th Engineer Support Company, commanded by Capt. Paul Latimer; the West Point-based 237th Engineer Company, commanded by Capt. Jarrett White; the Virginia Beach-based 576th Engineer Utilities Detachment, commanded by Capt. Shane McNamara; and, the Cedar Bluff-based 1033rd Engineer Support Company, commanded by Capt. Jack McDonald, IV. The battalion traces its official military lineage to the First Virginia Regiment of the Continental Army in 1775. Prior to that event, the regiments were comprised of the local militia’s which maintained a continual military presence in Colonial Virginia since its founding in 1607.