CAMP ZAMA, Japan -- Maj. Gen. James F. Pasquarette assumed command of U.S. Army Japan and I Corps (Forward) in a change of command ceremony held July 8 at Kastner Army Airfield Hanger.

Pasquarette became the 36th general to head the command, replacing Maj. Gen. James C. Boozer Sr., who is retiring after 35 years of military service.

Gen. Vincent K. Brooks, U.S. Army Pacific's commanding general, officiated for the change of command ceremony which was held before a crowd of more than 300 Japanese and American military and Civilian dignitaries, Civilian employees and Family members.

The bond between the United States and Japan, Brooks said, "Is stronger than it ever has been ... and it needs to be. Of our commitment there can be no doubt."

As Brooks spoke of the importance of this command, consisting of 21 separate subordinate elements spanning 16 different installations, he cited the professionalism, diligence and excellence of the Soldiers that serve in Japan.

Brooks then offered his praise for the outgoing commander.

"Through his skill in team building, Boozer made significant improvements in training, operations and bilateral engagements," Brooks said. "As a result, both the U.S. and Japan are better prepared."

Brooks talked of the incoming commander's experience, citing his prior time at USARPAC as deputy commanding general and before that, as chief of staff, both at Fort Shafter, Hawaii.

"He already knows all of the bosses, so he can get to work right away," Brooks said. "His experiences are varied and deep" and thus the new commander "has much to draw upon" as he begins his tour of duty.

As the outgoing commander, Boozer had a final request, "Can I get one more 'Giddyup' before I go?"

After receiving a rousing "Giddyup" in response, Boozer continued with a reflection on his time in command.

"The only constant in the military is change," he said, which marked the past two years of his command and built upon relationships that began in 1954 when the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force was founded. Boozer said that he was proud of his role in the changes, increasing capabilities of both the U.S. and Japan.

"It's been an absolute privilege and honor to serve," Boozer added in closing.

Pasquarette began his remarks with a statement of greeting in Japanese and then spoke of the enthusiasm with which he and his family accepted this new command.

"We're looking to immerse ourselves in Japanese culture," he said. "I'm excited about the missions, the people and the place."

Following the change of command ceremony, Boozer and his wife, Nancy, bid farewell to a long line of well-wishers in the hangar while Pasquarette's was being welcomed during a reception held at the Camp Zama Community Club.