FORT GORDON, Ga. - In keeping with the time-honored traditions of military customs and courtesies, the 35th Signal Brigade (THE Lion Brigade) held a change of command ceremony June 7 at Alexander Hall on Fort Gordon, Ga.
Lt. Gen. Joseph Anderson, the commander of the XVIII Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg, N.C., hosted the ceremony where Col. Thomas A. Pugh relinquished command to Col. Robert L. Edmonson II.
The XVIII Airborne Corps senior enlisted adviser, Command Sgt. Maj. Isaia Vimoto, was also in attendance.
“The Corps, Fort Gordon and the Army have been extremely privileged and fortunate to have Col. Tom Pugh on our team for the past 25 months,” said Anderson to the crowd of Lion Brigade soldiers, families and members of the Fort Gordon community. “He is a dedicated leader and a total team player to the Corps and on this post.”
Col. Pugh, of Signal Mountain, Tenn., prepared and deployed two battalions and 10 companies in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom/New Dawn and Operation Enduring Freedom during his time with the brigade. He also increased communications system support missions to brigade combat teams and combat service support units that are organized under XVIII Airborne Corps and I Corps.
Pugh is slated to attend the United States Air Force Air War College in Maxwell, Ala., after command.
During the ceremony Pugh passed the brigade colors to Anderson who passed the colors to Edmonson, symbolizing his new responsibility and care of THE Lion Brigade heritage, the soldiers under his command, and the unit’s continuing mission.
In his final speech to the soldiers and families of the brigade, Pugh discussed the lineage of the four battalions of the brigade, focusing on the each unit’s individual history.
The 63rd Expeditionary Signal Battalion and 67th ESB are located on Fort Gordon, Ga. The 50th ESB is located on Fort Bragg, N.C., and the 51st ESB is located on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.
“Those standing before you follow in the footsteps of some amazing veterans that have accomplished some amazing things, but we do not stand in their shadows,” Pugh said. “As any great unit, the soldiers of the 35th Signal Brigade march the memories of our veterans and each and every day, they add more and more lines to our already impressive history.”
Col. Edmonson has “marched” as a member of the brigade. The Willingboro, N.J., native commanded the 63rd ESB from 2008 to 2010, and has served in several XVIII Airborne Corps units.
He has served as an infantry brigade signal officer and a former executive officer for the 82nd Signal Battalion, 82nd Airborne Division. He recently served as the director of Army Signal Activity, CIO/G6 for the Army Intelligence and Security Command.
“I’m committed to the Corps, its principles, purpose and role in securing our nation’s interests. It’s with sincerity and admiration that I’m honored to serve beneath the canopy of the XVIII Airborne Corps again,” Edmonson said. “I’m thrilled to rejoin your ranks and humbled at the privilege of leading this formation to the 'utmost of my ability.'”