A brisk spring wind whipped through the assembled troops as members of the 102nd Training Division said farewell to Brig. Gen. John Elam and Command Sgt. Maj. John Stumph as they welcomed Brig. Gen. Miyako Schanely and Command Sgt. Maj. Robert Provost during a ceremony at Ft. Leonard Wood, Mo. April 3, 2016.

Maj. Gen. A. C. Roper, commander of the 80th Training Command, who administered the event, awarded the prestigious Legion of Merit to Elam and the Meritorious Service Medal to Stumph for their years of outstanding leadership and selfless service.

In his address to the audience made up of friends, family members, and soldiers from across the country, Roper referred to the ceremony as a public demonstration of leadership continuity.

"It represents a promise that the unit will continue to be steadfast in meeting the nation's demands, regardless of the turnover within the ranks," he said.

An emotional Elam choked up as he reflected on the division's achievements during his three-year tenure, and he issued a direct challenge to the noncommissioned officers present.

"Support Brig. Gen. Schanely as well you as you supported me," Elam said. "From the moment I stepped into the 102nd, I realized the division's NCO corps was something special. Led by CSM Stumph, they had taken charge of many different facets of the division."

Elam barked out one last order from the podium before finally relinquishing command: "NCOs, take charge and continue to take charge of your units."

The 102nd is the only Total Army School System division in the Army Reserve that trains soldiers to be engineers, military police, and chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear specialists. The current soldiers of the 102nd carry on the exemplary lineage of the division's past members dating all the way back to World War I, a rich heritage which boasts President Harry S. Truman, who was a 102nd Field Artillery officer.

Schanely wasted no time adopting 102d TD motto and issued her own challenge.

"Thank you very much in advance for everything that we're going to do together," she said, closing out her remarks. "Ozarks lead the way, victory through skill!"