PRESIDIO OF MONTEREY, Calif. -- Family members, visitors and staff gathered at the Presidio of Monterey's Weckerling Center Aug. 21 for a change-of-responsibility ceremony that saw outgoing garrison Command Sgt. Maj. Andrew J. Wynn Sr. pass the reins to Command Sgt. Maj. Leslie J. Hudson.

Presiding over the event and taking to the podium, delivering farewell remarks to Wynn and welcoming words to Hudson, was Garrison Commander Col. Paul W. Fellinger.

The focal point of the ceremony involves the presentation and passing of the noncommissioned officer's sword from the hands of the departing command sergeant major to the presiding officer and then to the incoming command sergeant major. The time-honored ceremony is a simple event steeped in military tradition. It serves the dual function of rendering honors to the departing command sergeant major and provides official recognition of the transfer of authority.

The sword is more than a symbolic token; it is a functional weapon -- not intended for idle display.

Wynn said that he believes the most important thing about the ceremony was to show that there is a smooth transition in the leadership change and if he could offer one piece of advice to the new command sergeant major it would be to "trust in your people."

Later the same evening family members, well-wishers and staff were able to interact with both Hudson and Wynn in a more informal setting as the garrison hosted a black and white themed party at Ord Military Community's General Stilwell Community Center.

"This is a good chance for the people to meet the new command sergeant major and have a good time,' said Wynn. "Because they work hard, they should be able to play hard too."

While attending the party, Hudson commented "It is great to see everyone here. It just goes to show that the garrison family is truly a team."

Hudson added that she feels lucky to be serving in such a beautiful place as Monterey and her first priority as the new command sergeant major will be to further the relationships built by Wynn and to serve the people.

As for Wynn, his new focus will be on his impending retirement.

"You know, I have been in the Army for 30 years plus now. So I think this is a great personal opportunity for me," said Wynn.