• Lt. Col Steven Yamashita (left), the incoming commander for the 709th Military Police Battalion, 18th MP Brigade, 21st Theater Sustainment Command, receives the battalion colors from Col. Brian Bisacre(right), the commander of the 18th MP Bde., during a change of command ceremony, June 22, on the parade field in Grafenwoehr, Germany. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Tramel S. Garrett, 18th MP Brigade Public Affairs)

    709th MP Bn welcomes new commander

    Lt. Col Steven Yamashita (left), the incoming commander for the 709th Military Police Battalion, 18th MP Brigade, 21st Theater Sustainment Command, receives the battalion colors from Col. Brian Bisacre(right), the commander of the 18th MP Bde., during...

  • Lisa Hedgepeth receives flowers from Sgt. William Depew, the 709th non-commissioned officer of the year, during the change command ceremony on the parade field on June 22, in Grafenwoehr, Germany. (Photo by Capt. Amanda Kehrrington, 18th MP Bde Public Affairs)

    709th MP Bn welcomes new commander

    Lisa Hedgepeth receives flowers from Sgt. William Depew, the 709th non-commissioned officer of the year, during the change command ceremony on the parade field on June 22, in Grafenwoehr, Germany. (Photo by Capt. Amanda Kehrrington, 18th MP Bde Public...

GRAFENWOEHR, Germany -- The 709th Military Police Battalion held a change of command ceremony on the parade field here, June 22, to welcome a new commander and to wish a fond farewell to the outgoing commander.

Lt. Col. Roger Hedgepeth relinquished command to Lt. Col Steven Yamashita after two years as the 709th MP Bn. commander.

Col. Brian Bisacre, the commander of the 18th MP Brigade, began his speech praising the family members of the 709th MP Bn., for their continuous support.

"There are many family members of our Soldiers here today. Resilient, tough, compassionate and above all, committed to their Soldiers and each other," said Bisacre.

Bisacre also highlighted one family member in particular, Lisa Hedgepeth.

"Lisa would be the first to tell you she is the least important, because for Lisa, it's never about her and always about others," said Bisacre.

"You changed people's lives, made them better, made our units better. Thank you for giving your heart and soul to the Soldiers and families of the 709th MP Bn.," Bisacre added.

The outgoing commander, Hedgepeth began by thanking the Soldiers of the 709th MP Bn., for their dedication, patriotism and selfless service. In addition, he discussed what it meant personally serving as a 709th MP Bn., Soldier.

"This great battalion encompasses 70 years of selfless and dedicated Soldiers who answer the call of duty. Bravely stepping forward to keep us safe, what a wonderful legacy," said Hedgepeth.

The incoming commander, Yamashita expressed his appreciation to the Hedgepeth's for helping him make a smooth transition. He also addressed the Soldiers of the 709th MP Bn., with his plans as the new commander.

"Roger and Lisa, the climate you have set has enabled excellence across the board. Thank you for a wonderful transition. The doors of this battalion are always open to you," said Yamashita.

"It is my honor and privilege to serve for and with you in this rich and storied battalion," said Yamashita.

"Together, we will continue to focus on professional law enforcement, winning on the battlefield, outstanding stewardship of our nations resources and ensuring our Soldiers and families are ready, resilient and self reliant," Yamashita added.

Page last updated Mon June 25th, 2012 at 00:00