FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md. -- Soldiers of First Army Division East welcomed their new commanding general during a change of command ceremony here Aug. 7.

Maj. Gen. Brian J. McKiernan accepted the commanding general baton from outgoing commanding general Maj. Gen. Jeffrey L. Bailey.

Lt. Gen. Michael S. Tucker, First Army commanding general, applauded Bailey's leadership during his time at Division East.

"Maj. Gen. Bailey's masterful leadership has skillfully led Division East for two years now, and his achievements during this timeframe are significant," Tucker said. "Maj. Gen. Bailey and his stellar Division East teammates have been a key element and driving force behind the successful execution of (Operation Bold Shift) transformation."

Bailey, who was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal prior to the ceremony, will retire early next year at Fort Bragg, N.C., with 32 years of honorable service.

Bailey thanked Division East personnel for supporting the Army and its Reserve Component.

"Our nation is safer, our Army is better and our division has been successful because of you," he said. "Our division is better because of my staff, the brigade commanders, NCOs and command sergeants majors."

Bailey said that a successful command is more than its resources.

"The strength of the Army is not its equipment, technology, or its weapons, tanks, artillery or resources," Bailey said. "It's about people. That is what makes our Army the greatest Army in the world."

Tucker acknowledged his confidence in McKiernan's leadership abilities.

"Maj. Gen. McKiernan is a combat-tested leader, which is evident by his two deployments in support of Iraqi Freedom, as well as his experience in Operation Desert Storm. Brian, you are the right senior leader to assume the helm of this superb organization."

McKiernan thanked his family, including his father-in-law, a retired colonel and veteran of the Korean, Vietnam and Cold Wars.

First Army Division East's mission will continue to provide essential training, McKiernan said.

"To the Soldiers, leaders and civilians of Division East, you can count on my utmost effort every day to ensure you have the resources and quality leadership you deserve and require to enable you to meet the mission."

Indicative of the successful relationship First Army Division East has with the Reserve Component, all three generals applauded the salute battery from the Maryland Army National Guard's 58th Troop Command. The Brass Quintet Band from "Pershing's Own" at Fort McNair, Virginia, provided music for the ceremony.