Fort Knox, Ky. (May 19, 2015) -- Col. Daniel F. Kelley, Jr. assumed command of the U.S. Army Cadet Command's 1st Brigade this morning in a 10 a.m. ceremony on Brooks Field.

Kelley assumed command from Col. David L. Wood, who will become the Chief of the Personnel Division, U.S. Central Command, at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida.

In addition, Command Sgt. Maj. Kenny Clayborn assumed responsibility from his predecessor, Command Sgt. Mark Christopher Martinez. Martinez will become only the second command sergeant major in the history of the Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania.

Maj. Gen. Peggy C. Combs noted that the two years in which Wood has led 1st Brigade have been possibly the most important time in its history, as the brigade took on the challenge of preparing for, and conducting, Cadet Command's very first combined summer training at Fort Knox in 2014. Some 14,000 cadets and instructors rotated through Fort Knox last summer to attend and conduct the Leader Training Course (renamed Cadet Initial Entry Training) and the Leader Development and Assessment Course (renamed the Cadet Leader Course).

Wood was quick to point out that he had a lot of help in making that eight-month turnaround a success: his staff, the 8th Brigade staff, many individuals on the Fort Knox garrison and Cadet Command headquarters staffs and, most notably, his command sergeant major -- Martinez. He noted with pride the fact that on any given day the 11 programs in 1st brigade -- the nation's six senior military colleges and five military junior colleges -- were preparing some 5,800 cadets to be future Army leaders. During his tenure, the programs in 1st Brigade commissioned more than 1,300 officers.

Kelley, a Philadelphia native who was commissioned as an Infantry officer through the Army Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) program at Villanova University in 1992, pointed out that "23 years ago today is the last time I wore this patch," and vowed to continue the outstanding record established by his predecessor.

His previous assignments include Senior Maneuver Observer Coach Trainer at the Joint Multinational Readiness Center in Hohenfels, Germany. His career includes increasingly responsible command and staff positions at Fort Myer, Virginia; Fort Dix, New Jersey; and Fort Benning, Georgia. He also has multiple deployments to Korea and Germany, and a deployment to Macedonia.

In addition to his bachelor's degree in history from Villanova, Kelley has also earned a master in strategic studies degree from Deakin University in Australia.

His awards and decorations include the: Bronze Star Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Army Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Joint Service Achievement Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge, Expert Infantryman Badge, Senior Parachutist Badge, Pathfinder Badge, Air Assault Badge, and Ranger Tab.
Cadet Command's 1st Brigade consists of the nation's six senior military colleges and five of the military junior colleges. During the past several years, their 11 Army ROTC detachments have commissioned a total of approximately 650 new lieutenants a year.

The U.S. Army Cadet Command oversees the Army's senior and Junior ROTC programs. It commissions more than 60 percent of the Army's new officers each year through host ROTC programs at 275 host universities and more than 1,000 affiliated programs at other colleges across the nation. It also oversees one of the nation's top citizenship and leadership programs through more than 1,700 Army Junior ROTC programs nationwide.