PAGO PAGO, American Samoa - Fellow Soldiers, leaders and community members gathered at the 9th Mission Support Command's Sgt. 1st Class Koneilio Pele U.S. Army Reserve Center to welcome the new installation commander in a change of command ceremony, here, August 7.

Maj. Sam Taylor, who most recently served as a reserve production manager for the Joint Operations Intelligence Center, U.S. Pacific Command, assumed command of the American Samoa Theater Support Group Detachment from Maj. John Adams.

"I am honored to take command," said Taylor. "The sense of unity and support throughout the island is incredible. I am truly looking forward to working with the Soldiers and getting to know the local community members during my tenure."

Taylor hails from Morgantown, West Virginia, where he first enlisted in the active duty Army in 1985 as an artilleryman. After an assignment in Fort Bragg's XVIII Airborne Corps, he joined Fort Bragg's XVIII Explosive Ordinance Detachment. At the end of his enlistment he left active duty to pursue a bachelor's degree at Fairmont State University.

After graduation, Taylor completed officer candidate school and commissioned in the Army Reserve. During his 20-plus years, Taylor served in various intelligence and command positions, most notably his assignment as the director of intelligence operations for the 513th Military Intelligence Brigade.

In Taylor's new assignment as the installation commander of the U.S. Army Reserve Center, his main task is to serve as the conduit for providing quality of life services to the Soldier, family members and veterans in American Samoa. As the senior ranking Soldier on ground, he will also serve as the Army Reserve liaison to the local government.

Col. Michael A. Phipps, the Theater Support Group commander said Taylor's extensive background and experience made him a highly qualified candidate for the command position.

"I am extremely confident that Maj. Sam Taylor has the ability to lead and command the TSG Detachment," said Phipps. "Sam has the education and skill sets to do great things. He is without a doubt the right guy at the right time to continue to build on the many accomplishments of his predecessor, Maj. John Adams."

Phipps praised the outgoing commander for his many achievements.

"Adams has been the 'go-to' guy in American Samoa for the past two years," said Phipps. "He has done a phenomenal job."

Perhaps the most prominent of Adams' accomplishments was the leadership he provided during the natural disaster that devastated Samoa almost one year ago to date, said Phipps.

"Maj. Adams' legacy will likely be how he calmly provided leadership and direction for the Army Reserve Soldiers who mobilized to provide disaster relief immediately following the 2009 tsunami. His unwavering efforts will not be forgotten," said Phipps.

In his farewell remarks, Adams expressed his heartfelt appreciation to the Soldiers and community members.

"My stay in American Samoa has been a rewarding experience. The Soldiers and members of the community will always have a fond place in my heart, and I can't thank them enough for their hospitality."

Taylor commended Adams for his many efforts and noted that his predecessor set the bar high.

"I have big shoes to fill," said Taylor. "Maj. Adams has done a great job in American Samoa, not only with the Reserves, but also with the Samoan community. I certainly hope to continue to build upon the relationship Maj. Adams has fostered here."

Tualauta Representative Larry Sanitoa presented Adams with a Citizen's Award for his service.

Adams is slated to serve as a communications and electronics officer at the Army Reserve Medical Command in Tampa, Florida.

Page last updated Wed August 18th, 2010 at 18:52