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    Army ‘Cyber Legion’ Battalion Changes Command

    782d MI BN Change of Command (stands)

    Photo By Steven Stover | FORT GORDON, Ga. – The Soldiers and Army Civilians of the 782nd Military...... read more read more



    Story by Steven Stover 

    780th Military Intelligence Brigade (Cyber)

    FORT GORDON, Ga. -- The Soldiers and Army Civilians of the 782nd Military Intelligence Battalion (Cyber), accompanied by friends and Family, bid a fond farewell to Lt. Col. Wayne Sanders, the departing battalion commander, and welcomed back Lt. Col. Thomas Nelson, during a change of command ceremony hosted by Col. Matthew Lennox, the commander of the 780th MI Brigade (Cyber), on Barton Field, June 4.

    Although it was bittersweet for the 782d MI Battalion, Cyber Legion, to say farewell to a great command team, this ceremony was also a homecoming for Lt. Col. Nelson, who previously served as the battalion’s operations officer.

    The Cyber Legion battalion is a unique organization with more than 750 Soldiers and Department of the Army Civilians serving in eight subordinate companies and detachments, each with multiple cyber teams, dispersed across four states and six time zones. The largest of the 780th MI Brigade’s battalions, their latest initiative in 2020 was to expand its Joint Mission Operations Center (JMOC) capabilities and now operates two JMOCs from two disparate locations in support of multiple operational headquarters.

    Lennox, who previously served as the Cyber Legion’s battalion commander, said “I’ll admit to a bit of bias when it comes to the 782d. Simply put, this battalion is somehow both the crown jewel and a cornerstone within the Department of Defense for offensive cyberspace operations. Regardless of who they support, Army Combat Mission Teams and Combat Support Teams, work tirelessly to execute their assigned mission. They accomplish ‘stuff and things’ better than anyone else. It takes talented leaders to achieve that level of readiness and success and for as long as I have known him Lt. Col. Wayne Sanders has been that person.”

    Sanders previously served in the battalion’s sister organization, the 781st MI Battalion (Cyber), as an operations officer and executive officer, was a National Mission team lead, and the first leader of the Expeditionary Cyber Support Detachment, which served under the 782d MI Battalion, and ultimately became the 915th Cyber Warfare Battalion.

    “His thoughtfulness and team building have always impressed me and Wayne put those attributes to work with the Cyber Legion,” said Lennox.

    During his tenure, Sanders increased the operational capacity of the battalion by planning and executing the opening of a JMOC in Fortitude Hall, the headquarters for U.S. Army Cyber Command at Fort Gordon; and established a leadership professional development series, mentoring programs, and a tailored work program.

    “Beyond cyber operations, Wayne took great care of his people,” added Lennox. “His commitment to Soldiers, Civilians, and Family members of the battalion is evident through his Soldier Family Readiness programs, and his work-life balance initiatives.”

    In his remarks, Sanders focused his attention on the battalion’s officers, warrant officers, Civilians, noncommissioned officers and junior enlisted Soldiers.

    “We’re spread out over four states, supporting Joint Force Headquarters Army Cyber, Fleet Cyber, Marine Forces Cyber, and Air Force Cyber. These missions span the globe, which we are responsible for 24/7/365,” said Sanders. “We are a deployed in place unit with the highest caliber of talent anywhere in the world. Our talent pool starts with the top ten percent of any other branch and then we take the top ten percent across the cyber branch and they all want to be Cyber Legion.”

    In addition to taking the “fight to our nation’s toughest adversaries,” Sander’s command philosophy has been “Ready, Responsive and Resilient.”

    “Are we ready for the mission, are we ready for our Families, are we ready for each other; are we responsive to mission changes, are we responsive to Families’ needs, and our we responsive to each other; and resiliency, always being a work-life balance, being able to sustain the work that we do,” recited Sanders. “…and none of what I mentioned is going to be what I remember about being a battalion commander; I’m going to remember the people.”

    Sanders will remember the time he spent with people, both in and out of the office. He will remember the Fall Fest in October 2019, for the Trunk or Treat and Chili Cook-Off; the Holiday Ball; running the ‘48 for the Fallen’ with Soldiers and Civilians last Memorial Day; running around Steed’s Dairy in the spring with his kids; and getting a pie in the face on organizational day. He will remember the one-on-one mentorship sessions with his officers and NCOs; the late-night operations with energy drinks and pizza in the JMOC; the leader’s call nominating people for the Caesar’s award.

    “These are the memories that will stick with me forever,” said Sanders.

    Sanders next assignment is to attend the Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy at Fort Lesley J. McNair in Washington, D.C.

    The 782d MI Battalion welcomes back Lt. Col. Nelson and his Family. Nelson is a graduate of the United States Military Academy with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and was commissioned in 2004 as an Infantry Officer. He switched to the Cyber Branch, and has most recently served as the 782d MI Battalion’s operations officer, a team lead for a Combat Mission Team, and then spent the last two years as Chief of the Cyber Tactical Operations Center for Joint Forces Headquarters Cyber. He also earned a Master’s of Science degree in Applied Mathematics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

    “Cyber Legion…Silent Victory”



    Date Taken: 06.04.2021
    Date Posted: 06.04.2021 15:44
    Story ID: 398194
    Location: FORT GORDON, GA, US 

    Web Views: 277
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