FORT MEADE, Md. - The 352nd Civil Affairs Command welcomed a new commander during a change-of-command ceremony, Jan.10, at the Capt. John E. Smathers U.S. Army Reserve Center, Fort George E. Meade, Md.
Brig. Gen. James Owens relinquished command of the 352nd to Col. Jim Ruf, formerly the CACOM's deputy commander.
During a ceremony attended by nearly 100 Soldiers and family members from the command's two brigades and seven battalions, Owens delivered a message of praise and thanks.
"You cannot get to this point without great soldiers. Because of your success, I'm successful."
Owens said he is proud of the unit's accomplishments and the commitment of its Soldiers, who were constantly striving to make things better.
"We made things very systematic and instituted processes that were a benchmark for others to follow. We made ourselves transparent to the subordinate units. We wanted to create an environment where people wanted to work."
Owens' next assignment will be a yearlong tour with Combined Task Force Horn of Africa, where he will serve as deputy commander of the unit's headquarters at Camp Lemonier, Djibouti.
Ruf, who will serve as the unit's acting commander until another general officer is assigned to the position, said he expects to continue the work that Owens has done.
"Since we have worked hand in glove for so long, I don't foresee any changes. My main goal is to provide great service to the soldiers and their families and preparing them to be successful," he said.
A native of Chicago, Ill., Ruf holds two masters degrees and is a veteran of four combat deployments. He has held a variety of staff and command positions, including chief of education and training at the Peace Keeping and Stability Operations Institute, response development officer for the State Department's Office of the Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization, Provincial Reconstruction Team Commander in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, and Reserve Coordinator for Special Operations Command Joint Forces Command.
His military education includes the Army War College, Joint Forces Staff College, Command and General Staff College, Army Management Staff College, Civil Affairs Advanced Course and the Field Artillery Basic and Advanced Courses.