FORT GORDON, GA (Sept. 12, 2014) -- Less than six months after its establishment, the U.S. Army Cyber Center of Excellence added another first to its growing record when Maj. Gen. Stephen G. Fogarty took command on Monday.

Maj. Gen. LaWarren V. Patterson relinquished command of the Cyber CoE and Fort Gordon to Fogarty during the center's first-ever change-of-command ceremony held on Barton Field. Patterson took command of the U.S. Army Signal Center of Excellence and Fort Gordon in July 2012.

The Army announced that the Cyber CoE would be established at Fort Gordon in December 2013. The Signal CoE officially became the U.S. Army Cyber Center of Excellence in March.

"Fort Gordon, you have delivered in spades," said Patterson, who's heading to become the deputy commanding general for operations at Installation Management Command, Joint Base San Antonio, Texas. "Our accomplishments together over the past two years have been nothing short of incredible. Since the unveiling of the Cyber Center of Excellence sign on 28 March, we have done in months what would normally take years."

"(Patterson) excelled and his working (of) cyber into the center of excellence is really remarkable," said Lt. Gen. Robert B. Brown, commanding general, U.S. Army Combined Arms Center and Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Brown presided over the ceremony. "He often had to balance tough challenges and figure out the key aspects in an area with no history, uncharted territory and no past examples to rely on. "

"When I accepted command two years ago I had no idea how many significant events would happen during my tenure," Patterson said. "Now as I look back I'm amazed at how much has been accomplished as we worked together to make the Cyber Center of Excellence a reality. Fort Gordon, you have given me your utmost and I am proud of what we accomplished together."

Fogarty comes to Fort Gordon from Fort Belvoir, Virginia, where he was commanding general of the U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command, but he's no stranger to the installation. Fogarty commanded NSA-Georgia and the 116th Military Intelligence Group at Fort Gordon from 2005 until 2007 and is returning after seven years to be the commanding general of the installation. He told attendees he's humbled and excited to be taking command, but realizes he has big shoes to fill.

"The biggest challenge right now is ensuring the Cyber Center of Excellence actually reaches full operational capability on the timeline that I have," said Fogarty. "What we're going to have to do is come together in a way we really haven't in the past. Now I have to build on the momentum that (Maj. Gen. Patterson) created."

"This is all about (the Soldiers and family members)," he said. "They are the engine that truly powers everything that we are trying to accomplish. It's not just the Soldiers; it's actually (also) the very highly-skilled civilian workforce that we have, and they're completely supported by their families, and that's why our relationship with the local community is so important."

"The United States does not have a monopoly on cyber," Fogerty added. "We really have to take a bunch of different efforts that were scattered throughout the Army and … finally bring them together. The coordination, the integration of a bunch of these efforts is really coming together right now."

As a military intelligence officer Fogarty also addressed speculation in the community that his assignment to command the Cyber Center of Excellence signals a diminishing prominence for the Signal Corps.

"I am aware that many of you are concerned about an intel officer taking this position," he said, drawing laughter from attendees. "Don't be! You will not find a stronger advocate for a strong Signal Corps than I. A robust, resilient and secure network is the critical enabler for effective mission command, fires, logistics, intel, medical, aviation, information operations and other important capabilities and the network doesn't build, operate, maintain or defend itself. In fact, the network is not only an enabler but it is also a weapons platform, and as we move forward we must have a strong Signal Corps."

The assignment represents a homecoming for Fogarty, himself a native of Savannah, Georgia. His mother was born in Augusta, and his wife Sharon is a native of Atlanta.

"This is a dream for a Georgia boy," Fogarty said "Both Sharon and I are very excited to return home."