A Nebraska City native now commands the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division.
Col. Derek Thomson took part in a change of command ceremony on Aug. 17 at Ft. Campbell, Ky.
Thomson, a 1995 graduate of West Point, assumed command from a fellow West Point graduate, Col. Alan Boyer.
“It is my deep honor to join your ranks and walk in your footsteps,” said Thomson on taking command.
“This brigade was created for one purpose and that is to bring overwhelming lethal force to those who wish to do us harm. This is the call that we commit ourselves to daily,” he said.
“These are uncertain times and it takes the steady hand of a combat proven leader,” said Maj. Gen. Andrew Poppas, commander of the 101st Airborne Division. “That is exactly what Derek is.  Derek is the type of leader that is going to take the Bastogne Brigade to new heights. That steady hand is going to lead us through future conflicts.”
Thomson’s  most recent duty assignment was at the U.S. Army Special Operations Command at Ft. Bragg.
While there, he served as troop commander, squadron operations officer, brigade operations officer, squadron commander, and division chief within the Directorate of Operations at Joint Special Operations Command.
Thomson has been deployed overseas during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn.
“I am very grateful for my upbringing in Nebraska City and for the impact that many community leaders had on my life,” said Thomson.  “It’s a town with strong values, and it gave me a foundation that aligns perfectly with life as an officer in the Army.”
Thomson’s parents, Dr. Dean and Keitha Thomson, sister Tammy Partsch and brother Darin Thomson, attended the change of command ceremony.