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Replacement announced at Corps of Engineers

Sep. 24, 2013 @ 06:59 AM

HUNTINGTON -- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has announced a replacement for Col. Steven T. McGugan, as officials remain mum on what type of misconduct led to the officer being reassigned from his command of the Huntington District.

The new commander, Col. Leon Parrott, will take command at a ceremony set for Oct. 11 at the Huntington City Hall Auditorium.

Parrott comes to Huntington from Fort Bragg, N.C., where he has served as the corps engineer for XVIIIth Airborne Corps. That is just one aspect of Parrott's strong résumé, said Brian Maka, public affairs officer at the Huntington District.

"The District is looking forward to a new commander," he said. "It always brings a reinvigoration to the organization, and I'm sure he will be welcomed across the board."

Typically known as a change of command ceremony, the October service only will involve Parrott assuming command. Maka said. McGugan will neither attend the event nor visit Huntington in such a capacity ever again.

Maka deferred all questions concerning McGugan's reassignment to U.S. Army Col. David Patterson, who simply described an investigation as ongoing into the alleged officer misconduct. It remained unclear Monday as to how and when findings from the investigation will be publicly released.

The directive to relieve McGugan from command came with a temporary reassignment to Washington at the Corps of Engineers' national headquarters. Patterson, last month, said the Army initiated the investigation and removed McGugan from his post pending a final determination of what transpired.

It remained unclear Monday as to what the naming of a permanent replacement meant in regards to those findings.

In the interim, Maka said Lt. Col. William Reding will lead the Huntington District in his role as deputy commander.

Parrott's ceremony will be presided over by Brig. Gen. Margaret Burcham, Commanding General of the Great Lakes and Ohio River Division. She also presided over McGugan's ceremony in July 2012 in what was to have been a three-year assignment.

Parrott has held a variety of command and staff assignments during his military career. A press release said those include platoon leader, company executive officer and construction officer with the 94th Engineer Battalion, 18th Engineer Brigade and 249th Engineer Battalion; battalion maintenance officer and company commander with the 37th Engineer Battalion, 20th Engineer Brigade; assistant construction and operations officer with the 416th Engineering Command; environmental project officer and district executive officer, Europe District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; battalion operations and executive officer with the 1st Battalion, 395th Engineer Regiment; group engineer with the 5th Special Forces Group, deputy and then chief of the emergency operations center for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; commander of the 326th Engineer Battalion; deputy engineer for installations, environment and civil/military operations, U.S. European Command; chief of engineering at the Defense Intelligence Agency.

Follow Curtis Johnson at Facebook.com/curtisjohnsonHD and via Twitter @curtisjohnsonHD.

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