Lich takes command of 316th PSYOP Company

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Harrison Withrow
  • 434th ARW Public Affairs

Deeply rooted in military tradition, change of command ceremonies give troops the chance to witness first-hand the passing of the guidon as they go from one leader to another.

In that tradition, Maj. Theodore Lich took command of the 316th Psychological Operations Company during a change of command ceremony at Grissom Air Reserve Base, Ind., Nov. 18, 2018. This position was previously held by Maj. Glenn Laws, who Lich worked with for the last two years.

Lich, who has a combined 23 years in the Army and Marine Corps, began his career in the Indiana Army National Guard in 1987 as a helicopter mechanic. In 1991 he joined the Marine Corps and deployed to Okinawa and Somalia.

After transferring to the Army once again, Lich commissioned as an armor officer and deployed for Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2008. He later became a reservist and joined the 316th PSYOP Company.

“I really love this unit, and I have plans in mind for the direction I want to take it,” said Lich. “I want to make sure we’re making good use of military intelligence, and I want to shift a lot of focus towards tactical deception, which is a key aspect of our mission.”

Lich also expressed a desire for closer cooperation with the Air Force.

“Grissom has hosted us and opened up its facilities to us, and I’d like to see a closer working relationship between us and our Air Force counterparts,” he said. “I’d like to see more joint-training exercises between the two units and I’m going to see what I can do about that.”

Lich described the leadership style he brings to the unit as proactive and hands-on.

“I like to lead from the front,” he said. “I hate sitting behind a desk, I’m not an administrative kind of person.

“I believe firmly in my non-commissioned officers,” he added. “The NCO corps is the backbone of the Army and once we’ve planned things out between them and the officers, I make it a point to trust them and let them run their operations.”

Lich said he feels strongly about the role PSYOP performs, and how it contributes to the overall success of the Army.

“Our primary mission is to persuade, change, and influence perceptions about the United States and its military abroad,” said Lich. “In a deployed environment, we assess the attitudes of the surrounding population toward our operations, and we distribute materials which help create a more positive image.”

As for the company itself, Lich said he believes he is inheriting a robust and efficient team.

“I’ve been the second in charge here for the last two years, and things have ran very smoothly, so I’m not going to try to shake things up,” he said. “I do think that we can expand our current capabilities in many ways, and I have some goals I want to work toward, but this was already an outstanding company before I took command.”

The 316th is ranked 6th for performance out of all of the PSYOP companies in the entire Army Reserve.

“Laws was a great commander who had a vision for this company, and the NCO corps stood behind him the entire way,” said Lich. “That drive and cooperation is what got us to 6th in the nation.”

Lich said he believes that he is in a good position to continue that trend.

“Laws left me in a world of success, and I know that with this team we’ll be able to keep it going,” he said. “We’re going to preserve what Laws built, we’re going to grow our relationship with the Air Force Reserve, and I’m very eager to get started.”

The 434th ARW is the largest KC-135R Stratotanker unit in the Air Force Reserve Command. The Citizen Airmen from the Hoosier Wing routinely deploy around the world in support of the Air Force mission.

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