Two years of leadership and 25 years of service came to an end in minutes Friday with the changing of garrison command at Fort Gordon.
In a carefully choreographed ceremony under the rising sun, Col. Glenn Kennedy II said farewell to his subordinates and his career in the Army. With a formal but quick exchange of the Army post's colors, Col. Robert Barker took his place as garrison commander.
In his remarks on taking command, Barker said Kennedy and his wife, Angela, have made a lasting impression on the post since 2009.
"Your legacy will always be a part of Fort Gordon," Barker said.
Kennedy said afterward that he views his retirement as an opportunity to serve the community after 25 years serving the nation. His wife and three children see the change as a break from the demanding schedule of a career officer.
"I'm very pleased that he handed over the BlackBerry," Angela Kennedy said, jokingly. "That was the real change in command."
Fort Gordon saw several major changes under Kennedy's leadership. In the past two years, $40 million has been invested in upgrading barracks and $1.6 million in revamping the range and other training areas.
Kennedy lavished praise on all the garrison staffers for their efforts in making that possible during his closing speech. He invited the staffers to join him on the field during the change-of-command ceremony as a sign of solidarity.
Kennedy, an Evans High School graduate, said his family's wish is to stay in the Augusta area. He didn't disclose any specific plans but he said he is certain of one thing.
"I've had 25 good years," he said, "and the next 25 will be just as good, if not better."