Military leaders might come and go, but one thing is constant: the pageantry of the ceremonies commemorating their departures and arrivals.
On Friday, Fort Gordon continued one of its rites of summer by bidding farewell to a woman who was responsible for the largest Signal Corps brigade in the Army and saying hello to the man who will further lead the brigade's training of new Signal soldiers.
On Barton Field, Col. Lori Sussman passed command of the 15th Regimental Signal Brigade to Col. Frank G. Penha, complete with old-fashioned semaphore signaling with "wig-wag" flags.
Soldiers in advanced initial training are assigned to the brigade, where military and civilian instructors teach them the communications and electronics skills they will need in the field.
Brig. Gen. Randolph Strong, Fort Gordon's commander, had nothing but praise for Col. Sussman.
Col. Sussman helped integrate the Army's push for warrior ethos training - a set of specific values for soldiers to follow - and led changes in training for new concepts and systems, including the Joint Network Node and the LandWarNet University, he said.
The training gave Signal soldiers more of a "war-fighting focus," he said.
Col. Penha, who comes from the Naval War College in Rhode Island, said there will be no major changes at first.
"The real bottom line is training soldiers for now and into the future," he said.
Col. Sussman's next stop is the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization, said Brig. Gen. Ronald Bouchard, Fort Gordon's deputy commander.
The organization was formed to find ways to combat improvised explosive devices, which are some of the leading killers of Americans in the Iraq war.
Reach Jeremy Craig at (706) 823-3409 or email@example.com.
Summer is the traditional time for changes of command at Fort Gordon, from battalion level on up to the post itself. This summer, several changes are taking place at the fort:
June 2: 206th Military Intelligence Battalion
June 9: Naval Information Operations Command
June 20: 369th Signal Battalion
June 23: 513th Military Intelligence Brigade
June 27: 551st Signal Battalion
July 7: 15th Regimental Signal Brigade
STILL TO COME
JULY 13: 73rd Ordnance Battalion
July 14: Air Force 31st Intelligence Squadron
July 21: 63rd Signal Battalion
Aug. 17: Fort Gordon Garrison Command
Source: Fort Gordon Public Affairs Office