Combat engineer company changes hands

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Capt Jones and family (L to R) - grandmother Joan, grandfather Robert, Capt. Jones, mother Marcia, father Steve, sister Audrey, brother in law Mike

NORWAY, MAINE (11/07/2023) (readMedia)-- On Oct 14, in a ceremony in front of family, friends and fellow soldiers, Capt. Ellen Morrison passed the company guidon to incoming commander Capt. Corey Jones, thereby handing off command of the 251st Engineer Company.

"In my time as battalion commander, I have appreciated Capt. Morrison at the 251," said Lt. Col. Lisa Sessions, commander of the 133rd Engineer Battalion. "You led the unit through difficult and challenging times during the pandemic, and most recently you survived and thrived during your JRTC mission. That is a testament to you and your leadership. The 251 has accomplished great things. You should be proud. It has been a true pleasure working with you, and I'm excited to see what your future holds."

JRTC, or the Joint Readiness Training Center, is located at Fort Johnson, Louisiana, and hosts national combined arms exercises designed to hone both active and reserve units' abilities to perform in a realistic decisive action environment.

"To all the soldiers of the 251, it's because of you this company continues to succeed," said Morrison. "There's a reason why this unit won the best unit in the state of Maine in 2022 and will continue to win in upcoming years – it's because of you."

Morrison was awarded the Army Commendation Medal for her accomplishments during her command tour. She will continue her service as an operations section battle captain with the 133rd Engineer Company in Brunswick.

Adopted from Russia by American parents at an early age, Morrison spent her formative years in Silver Spring, Maryland, eventually following her brother and godfather into military service. She was also influenced by her father who worked for the National Security Agency. An ordnance officer turned engineer, Morrison previously served as the 251st's executive officer, as well as a platoon leader for both the 251st and Augusta's 152nd Support Maintenance Company. She holds a bachelor's degree from New England School of Communications in Bangor and is employed by PatraCompany, a visual marketing company located in Brunswick.

Jones takes the company guidon after a tour as the training officer at 521st Troop Command in Bangor, during which time he served as a battle captain for the New England CERFP, a multi-state specialized National Guard response team, and also was heavily involved in supporting two international exercises with Maine's state partner nation of Montenegro.

Jones, like Morrison, was commissioned through the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) at the University of Maine. He originally enlisted as a heavy equipment operator with the 185th Engineer Support Company in Caribou. Other previous assignments include platoon leader for both the 251st and 262nd Engineer Company. Jones also served as executive officer for the 262nd, and deployed to the Southwest border in support of U.S. Customs and Border Patrol.

"I stand before you today excited and thankful for the opportunity to lead the 251st Sapper Company," said Jones in his remarks. "Command is a privilege, and I owe this privilege to several people who helped me on my path."

Jones thanked multiple mentors for their guidance and advice over the years, culminating in his taking command of the 251st.

"Most importantly, I want to say 'thank you' to the men and women of the 251st Sapper Company," said Jones. "As many of you in this formation know, this is my home, and many of you standing here challenged me as a young lieutenant to be the best sapper I could be. I promise to serve my time here with that same mentality, and push our new soldiers to live up to those same expectations."

The 251st "Sappers" consists of approximately 95 soldiers from across Maine. The unit traces its lineage back to June of 1810 and saw its first campaign during the War of 1812. The 251st is task-organized to provide assault, obstacle emplacement, route and area clearance, and general engineering support to a brigade-sized element. The majority of the unit was mobilized in January 2021 to support civilian law enforcement in Washington, D.C. during the 59th Presidential Inauguration.


Photos courtesy of Sgt. 1st Class Anthony Plourde