The Second Brigade had a change of command ceremony on June 16 at Cottrell Field, where outgoing commander Col. Terry Tillis turned over the 2nd BCT to incoming commander Col. Ethan J. Diven.
According to a biography provided by Fort Stewart, Col. Diven is from San Diego, California, and commissioned as an infantry officer through the early commissioning program at New Mexico Military Institute. Upon graduation from Texas Tech University, he completed the Armor Officer Basic Course and served as a Tank Platoon Leader, S1, and Assistant S3 in the 2nd Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, at Fort Hood, Texas. Following the Infantry Captains Career Course, Col. Diven moved to Fort Riley, Kansas, where he served as the battalion assistant operation officer, air operations officer, and Bravo Company commander in the 1st Battalion, 34th Armor Regiment, 1st Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, with deployments to Al Anbar Province and Baghdad, Iraq.
After company command, he moved to Fort Benning, Georgia, and served as a small group instructor at the Infantry Captains Career Course. He then served as an assistant operations and training officer and as a logistics planner in the 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, with deployments in support of the Global War on Terror.
After graduating Intermediate Level Education, Col. Diven was assigned to the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, as the battalion executive officer for 1st Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment, and then as the brigade’s top operations officer during a deployment to Nangarhar and Kunar, Afghanistan. He then served in the operations group at the Joint Readiness Training Center in Fort Polk, Louisiana, as the Cavalry Squadron Task Force executive officer observer- controller-trainer, the Brigade Mission Command Task Force executive officer observer- controller-trainer, and the chief of the Live Fire Division.
Col. Diven commanded 1st Squadron, 40th Cavalry Regiment (Airborne) in the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division at Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson in Anchorage, Alaska. Following a deployment to Paktiya and Logar, Afghanistan, he moved to Fort Stewart, Georgia, and served as the assistant chief of staff in the division operations for the 3rd Infantry Division. After completion of the Joint Advanced Warfighting School at the Joint Forces Staff College in Norfolk, Virginia, Col. Diven served as the Chief of Land Operations at the Joint Enabling Capabilities Command (JECC) with deployments in support of the repositioning of U.S. forces out of Somalia and serving in Special Operations Command Africa during Operation Octave Quartz and the Non-Combatant Evacuation of U.S. personnel and At-Risk Afghans out of Afghanistan as the chief of staff for Joint Task Force Crisis Response during Operation Allies Refuge.
Col. Diven holds a bachelor’s degree from Texas Tech University, a master’s in Administrative Science from Central Michigan University, a master’s of Military Arts and Sciences in Strategic Studies from the Command and General Staff College, and a Master of Science in Joint Campaign Planning and Strategy from the Joint Advanced Warfighting School. He is a Ranger qualified, senior-rated parachutist and graduate of the Armor Officer Basic Course, the Infantry Captains Career Course, the Combined Arms Services Staff School, the Command and General Staff College, and the Joint Advanced Warfighting School.
Outgoing commander Col. Tillis is a native of Sanford, Florida, and began his military career upon graduation from the University of Central Florida as an Armor Officer. His first assignment was to Fort Benning, Georgia, where he served in 2nd Battalion, 69th Armor Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division as a plans officer, Tank, and Mortar Platoon Leader.
Following attendance at the Infantry Captains Career Course, Col. Tillis has served in several command and staff positions, including Assistant Operations Officer, 3rd Battalion, 67th Armor Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Hood, Texas; Tank Company Commander, C CO 3-67 AR; Company OC/T, Operations Group (Tarantula Light Infantry TF), Fort Irwin, California; APMS and Battalion XO for the University of Southern California; Military Transition Team Chief and Operations Officer, 3rd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division; Squadron Operations and Executive Officer, 2/11 ACR; Regimental Operations Officer, 11th ACR, Fort Irwin; Squadron Executive Officer OC/T, Operations Group (TF4 Cavalry Squadron), Fort Polk, Louisiana; Aide de Camp to the Commanding General, TRADOC, Fort Eustis, Virginia; Commander, 2nd Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colorado; 4th Infantry Division ACoS G-5 Plans Officer; and 2nd Infantry Division ACoS G-3 Operations Officer.
Col. Tillis’ assignments required multiple deployments in support of our nation’s defense and interests.
Col. Tillis holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Central Florida, a Master of Arts from the University of Southern California, a Master of Military Studies from the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and a Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College. He is a graduate of both the U.S. Army Airborne and Ranger Schools, the Armor Officer Basic Course, the Infantry Captains Career Course, the Combined Arms Services Staff School, the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and the Naval War College. He is married, and he and his wife enjoy raising their daughter and two pups together.