CAMP SHELBY, Miss. - The Mississippi Army National Guard’s 155th Brigade Special Troops Battalion, based in Meridian, conducted a change of command ceremony, April 6, at the Camp Shelby Joint Forces Training Center parade field, where Lt. Col. Paul McDonald relinquished command of the 155th BSTB to incoming commander Lt. Col. Cecil King.
Special guests included Maj. Gen. Augustus L. Collins, adjutant general of the State of Mississippi, Brig. Gen. Roy Robinson, assistant adjutant general, Brig. Gen. Janson D. Boyles, commander of the 184th Sustainment Command and Mississippi Command Sgt. Major George Miller.
The commander of the 155th Brigade Combat Team, Col. John Rhodes, was on hand to receive the battalion’s colors and pass them to the incoming commander.
“I am privileged to know both Paul McDonald and Cecil King. I served with both of them throughout a deployment with the 155th to Iraq in 2009,” said Rhodes. “Not only are they outstanding soldiers and officers, they are quantity individuals, they are devoted to family, community, the Army values, and the principles of our nation.”
Rhodes later presented McDonald with the Mississippi Magnolia Medal, a replica of the 155th BSTB colors and a commemorative statue of a knight, which represented the Soldiers of the battalion.
“Soldiers of the 155th, all I can say is thank you, and that I am humbled by your outstanding performance. Thank you for lending your talents to me, to each other, to the Mississippi National Guard. Thanks for your dedication, service and thank you for the opportunity to lead you,” said McDonald. “I’m proud of you and proud to have been your commander and I know I am leaving you in excellent hands, going forward.”
After receiving the colors from Col. Rhodes, King passed them to battalion Command Sgt. Major Arthur Townsend, the traditional custodian of the unit’s colors.
“It’s going to be a privilege commanding a battalion such as this with all these diverse MOSs. I hope to grown and learn with you as the future comes,” said King. “I have one word I want to leave with you today. It’s a word that means many things. I have used it throughout my career for many reasons. I give you this word. It can mean ‘I understand,’ it means ‘I accept this challenge’ and it could also mean ‘I’m too tired to say anything else.’ Hooah to the 155th BSTB!”