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Col. Joseph Puett III, incoming Joint Interoperability Test Command commander, passes the organizational colors to Sgt. Maj. Cary Marshall, senior enlisted leader of JITC, during the JITC change of command ceremony, June 17.

FORT HUACHUCA, Ariz. -- Col. Ronald Stephens relinquished command of the Joint Interoperability Test Command to Col. Joseph Puett in a ceremony, June 17, at the JITC main entrance, Building 57305.

The purpose of a change of command ceremony is to pass the command, control, and authority of the unit from the old commander to the new.

Approximately 200 attendees gathered to recognize the outgoing commander's contributions to the JITC community and welcome Puett.

Lt. Gen. Carroll Pollett, director of Defense Information Systems Agency and presiding officer, praised the organization as the "backbone for the department's capability and testing," and heralded how Stephens's leadership continually "focused on a transformation of JITC to consistently meet the needs of the warfighter."

Stephens has served as the JITC commander since August 2007. His wife, Ann, was commended during the ceremony for her work with the Fort Huachuca Community Spouses club and local charities. They will depart to Fort Gordon, Ga., where Stephens will serve as the director of Signal Training.

Puett served from 2005 to 2010 as the inspector general and G5 for Network Enterprise Technology Command/9th Signal Command (Army) and as the Chief of the DISA Support Element -Afghanistan (Operation Enduring Freedom). He arrives with his wife, Peg, and two children.

Puett noted in his address that this command is a culmination of all of his previous experience and assignments.

"I know with certainty what a great organization this is," Puett said.

"I am committed to the development of the organization and together, we will meet the needs of the Department of Defense."

Honor guard duties were discharged by a select group comprised of Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines, and the 36th Army Band closed the ceremony with a joint services medley; both actions signified the unique mixture of JITC's multiservice composition.

The JITC is a field command of the DISA. The command's primary mission is to be the command, control, communications, computer and intelligence joint and combined interoperability certification authority for the DoD, to provide interoperability technical support and assessments to the combatant commanders, services, and agencies, and to be the operational test agency for the Defense Information Systems Agency.

Page last updated Fri June 25th, 2010 at 11:17