FORT BELVOIR, Va. (Sept. 4, 2013) -- Army Cyber Command conducted its first change of command Sept. 3, at Fort Belvoir, during a ceremony in which Lt. Gen. Rhett A. Hernandez, outgoing commanding general, Army Cyber Command, relinquished command to newly-promoted Lt. Gen. Edward C. Cardon.
In front of friends and colleagues Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, chief of staff of the Army, thanked Hernandez for his work as ARCYBER's first commander, during the ceremony.
"When the Army first established Army Cyber Command in 2010, we knew that it would need a leader who was capable of shaping this critical force for the challenges that lie ahead," he said. "His efforts have set our Army up for long-term success in this critical endeavor."
Citing the hard work by the outgoing commander, and dedication of Army Cyber Soldiers and civilians, Odierno said that Hernandez embodies the dedication necessary to stand up a command from scratch.
"The command's motto is 'Second to None,' and that is exactly the spirit that Lieutenant General Rhett Hernandez has brought to the command, and it will be the legacy that he leaves with it," Odierno said.
In his farewell address Hernandez said that he drew great strength from the passion of those who worked around him during his tenure at Army Cyber.
"I am proud of your patience and persistence," Hernandez said. "You know change is not easy and on any journey, there are many paths. Your continued patience and persistence is leading change and producing outcomes that will transform how the Army will conduct operations on land and in cyberspace."
"Don't count the days, but continue to make everyday count," he concluded.
During his remarks Cardon thanked his family and friends for their and support, as well as Hernandez and his wife for their leadership.
"Growing new organizations is enormously hard work, and we were extremely blessed that the first cyber commander was Lieutenant General Rhett Hernandez. Standing up Army Cyber Command has been no small feat, and I am honored to follow Rhett and to continue building on his efforts," said Cardon.
He said he plans to pick up where Hernandez left off, and is honored to take command of Army Cyber.
"Army Cyber Command was borne out of the recognition of the tremendous convergence of technologies over time that created a new domain," he said. "As military cyber professionals, we must continue to strive to stay atop our profession. We are where we are today because of the tireless dedication of some of our most selfless and committed cyber leaders -- these men and women have ventured into an entirely new frontier."
Army Cyber command was activated Oct. 1, 2010, with a mission to plan, coordinate, integrate, synchronize, direct and conduct network operations and defense of all Army networks.
Cardon was commissioned a second lieutenant May 26, 1982, when he graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y. During his 31 years of service, he has served in numerous key field and staff assignments.
Cardon has commanded several units including: The 2d Infantry Division, Eighth United States Army, Republic of Korea; 4th Brigade Combat Team, 3d Infantry Division, at Fort Stewart, Ga., and during Operation Iraqi Freedom, Iraq; Engineer Brigade, 3d Infantry Division, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Iraq and Fort Stewart; 588th Engineer Battalion, 4th Infantry Division (Mechanized), Fort Hood, Texas. He also served as deputy commanding general (Support), United States Forces-Iraq, Operation Iraqi Freedom/New Dawn, Iraq and deputy commanding general (Support), 3d Infantry Division (Mechanized)/Multi-National Division - Center, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Iraq and as a strategist to the chief of staff, Office of the Chief of Staff, Army, Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
Cardon earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the U.S. Military Academy, a Master of Arts degree in National Security and Strategic Studies from the United States Naval War College, Newport, R.I., and a Master of Science degree in National Security & Strategic Studies from the National War College, Fort Leslie J. McNair, Washington, D.C.
Among his many awards and decorations are the Distinguished Service Medal, the Defense Superior Service Medal and the Legion of Merit with five oak leaf clusters.