By Ben ShermanJune 12, 2014
FORT SILL, Okla. June 12, 2014 -- The 31st Air Defense Artillery Brigade held a change of command ceremony June 6 on Polo Field at Fort Sill.
Brig. Gen. Donald Fryc, 32nd Army Air and Missile Command commanding general at Fort Bliss, Texas, returned here as reviewing officer for the ceremony as Col. Michael Morrissey, outgoing 31st ADA Brigade commander, passed the guidon to Col. Kevin Ciocca.
Fryc recognized the job Morrissey did as commander of Fort Sill's only Forces Command ADA brigade.
"As we look at Mike's command tour of the 31st, I'm going to say, 'Wow, what a season,'" Fryc said.
Fryc said Morrissey batted "1,000 percent" by deploying air defenders to such places as Afghanistan, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Turkey and Bahrain and bringing them safely home. Morrissey deployed with them for nine months, recently returning with 70 Soldiers of his brigade.
"When we called, his troops were ready. When he was needed, he put them there. Mike, that was a phenomenal result across all those countries," said Fryc, crediting the Soldiers standing in formation on Polo Field with preserving freedom for another generation.
Morrissey acknowledged Maj. Gen. John Rossi, the new Fires Center of Excellence and Fort Sill commanding general, Fryc, distinguished guests and the Soldiers and family members of the brigade. He also thanked each person who made the last two years successful.
"Thank you for joining us this morning to witness the transition in leadership, to honor these troops standing in front of you and those that are currently deployed on watch in multiple locations in harm's way, protecting our nation. I'm going to break with change of command tradition, because I'm not going to stand up here and rattle off all the accomplishments of this team. But they are the result of the Soldiers standing in front of you right now," Morrissey said. "Regardless of the circumstances and regardless of the environment, Soldiers in this outfit exceed expectations every time across multiple fronts."
Morrissey thanked the Lawton-Fort Sill community for watching over the brigade's families during the deployments and said he and his wife, Cindy, will miss the people here. He also thanked the Soldiers' families for their love and tireless support, and especially his wife and sons.
Ciocca thanked Morrissey and his family for their generous welcome, and Fryc for the opportunity to serve Soldiers under his leadership once more.
"As we know, the strength of our Soldiers is in our families, so I want to thank my family Becky, Emily and Julia for supporting me and helping me make this opportunity possible. Coming almost 10 years to the day since I first joined the 31st (ADA) Brigade, I could not be happier joining them again this morning, and one only needs to look at the Soldiers assembled on this field to understand why," he said. "So finally, to the Soldiers of the brigade, those here on the field and those deployed in harm's way, I am truly honored to rejoin your ranks and again serve you and your families. I look forward to getting to know you as we serve our great Army together. This is Archer Six, signing in, ready to serve, Army Strong."
Morrissey's next assignment will be in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Ciocca has been the assistant commandant of the ADA School since July.