FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. - Brig. Gen. Thomas P. Evans handed command of the 102nd Training Division (Maneuver Support) over to Col. Wayne M. Cavender during a change of command ceremony at the Fort Leonard Wood Museum.
Maj. Gen. Bill Gerety, commander 80th Training Command (Total Army School System), presided over the time honored tradition that represents the formal transfer of authority and responsibility from one commander to another.
Gerety awarded the Meritorious Service Medal to Evans, who took command of the division Nov. 11, 2012. Evans' term ended prematurely after he accepted an assignment at the Pentagon.
Gerety told the service members and civilians in attendance that Evans' success was based on the efforts of the soldiers and civilians that supported him.
"You're leaving behind a good group of people, and I'm sure they're sorry to see you go," Gerety said.
In his remarks, Evans said all the soldiers in the division should be proud of their achievements.
"We've had individual and unit accolades, but it's not been about any one of us," Evans said. "The thing I'm most proud of is that these soldiers really do work together collectively for the greater good."
"I'm not going to pretend that our trials and tribulations over the last 15 months have been anything like our World War II brothers … but I can say the legacy does continue." Evans said, referring to the division's efforts in Holland and Germany where soldiers of the 102nd Infantry Division captured or killed more than 150,000 enemy troops.
He said that the 102nd Training Division trains 75 percent of Maneuver Support soldiers in the Army Reserve and that the division has made great strides in its ability to include active duty soldiers.
"If you read the history of the 102nd, one common theme comes out ... you cannot over train," Evans said. "Our instructors (who are) our center of gravity, are the epitome of that and they do tough realistic training every day."
In his inaugural address as the 102nd commander, Cavender said that Evans leaves behind a legacy of mission accomplishment with a reputation of caring for soldiers.
"I know his boots will be hard to fill, but I'm looking forward to the challenge of leading these fine troops," said Cavender, who'll be the interim commander.
He told the soldiers that he had confidence in their abilities, and he thanked Gerety for the opportunity.
"You're my go to guy," Gerety told Cavender during his remarks. "I appreciate you stepping in at the last minute."