FORT GORDON, Ga. - The Soldiers of the 707th Military Intelligence Battalion said farewell to their outgoing commander, Lt. Col. Bryan R. Gibby and welcomed Lt. Col. Amos R. Bennett, the incoming commander, at a change of command ceremony at Barton Field on July 18.

The ceremony was officiated by the commander of the 706th Military Intelligence Group, Col. Anthony E. Zeruto.

"Today is bitter sweet," said Zeruto. "We say farewell to the outgoing commander and celebrate the incoming commander. I first met Bryan Gibby at the height of the war in Iraq. We were in the worst place in Iraq - Sadr City. For a year I got to see Bryan Gibby as a warrior. He was brilliant. I didn't know he was here when I was coming. Over the last year I got to know him as an incredible trainer, incredible scholar and an incredible commander."

Zeruto went on to tell the Soldiers of the 707th Military Intelligence Battalion that he had complete confidence in the new commander.

"As we say goodbye to Lt. Col. Gibby we also say hello Lt. Col. Amos Bennett," Zeruto said. "For every 100 Lieutenant Colonels who aspire to be a battalion commander, the Army selects three. Lt. Col. Bennett has 16 years of demonstrated performance. Amos, I have all of the confidence that you are going to have a great, great command."

Gibby thanked the Soldiers of the 707th Military Intelligence Battalion for their loyalty and dedication to mission excellence.

"My Soldier's heart swells when I look at you and remember all the great things you have done," Gibby said to the audience. "No commander can desire finer troops. You never quit, you rarely complain, you always excel. I relinquish command reluctantly, because it means my days of teaching, coaching and mentoring the best signals intelligence battalion are over. But I will never stop caring."

Gibby finished his farewell speech by welcoming the new commander.

"It is time for the battalion to get fresh, caring leadership," said Gibby. "I am confident Lt. Col. Amos Bennett and his wife Lindsay will provide that leadership. They will make the Forward Watch Battalion a greater, more tightly-knit, professionally competent signals intelligence battalion."

The new commander of the 707th MI BN highlighted his respect for the unit he would be commanding by telling of his own early observations since he had arrived.

"I've definitely heard some amazing things about this unit," said Bennett. "But, I think it would mean more to you Bryan, and the Forward Watch Team if I tell you something I personally saw that told me much of what I needed to know."

"At an end of day formation last week where some Soldiers were being recognized for recent accomplishments, I watched and listened carefully as a young Soldier (unplanned and unprompted) told the formation about his struggles and shortcomings and how he overcame those through the support and mentorship of his fellow Soldiers, NCOs and Officers; all of whom played a role in putting him back on a path of excellence," Bennett said. "The things he freely espoused of his own accord spoke volumes to what this team is all about. I knew then and I know now that I can sincerely thank you Bryan and all your subordinate leaders for building the amazing unit that I am now part of."

Bennett concluded, "I am truly honored and humbled to command this team of teams; and I will do my absolute best to be worthy of that honor."