FORT KNOX, Ky. -- First Army Division East welcomed their new command sergeant major while applauding the leadership of the outgoing one.

Incoming First Army Division East Command Sgt. Maj. Royce B. Manis succeeded outgoing First Army Division East Command Sgt. Maj. Donald L. Rose Jr., during a change of responsibility ceremony held April 1 on Brooks Field.

The ceremony took place immediately after Division East's uncasing ceremony.

First Army Division East Commanding General Maj. Gen. Brian J. McKiernan thanked Rose for his leadership during McKiernan's eight months on the job as commanding general.

"Command Sergeant Major Rose, your wisdom, sound advice and expert leadership during the past 24 months have been absolutely superb. I want to personally say thank you for all your hard work and dedication to this critical mission and the support you've provided to me, as well as (former Division East Commanding General) Maj. Gen. (Jeffrey) Bailey," he said.

Rose thanked the Soldiers and civilians at Division East for their support -- particularly during the transition of Division East headquarters from Fort George G. Meade, Maryland to Fort Knox, Kentucky.

"Not only did you succeed, you excelled in your mission," Rose said. Earlier in the day, McKiernan awarded the Legion of Merit to Rose for his leadership during his two years with Division East.

Rose's next assignment will be as the Executive Officer to the Sergeant Major of the Army Daniel A. Dailey at the Pentagon.

McKiernan next welcomed Manis and his wife, Kerrie, and their daughters, Ashley and Whitney.

"With more than 27 years of dedicated service, Command Sgt. Maj. Manis has all the appropriate schooling, leadership, combat experience and dedication to help lead this organization forward," McKiernan said.

Manis, who previously served as 205th Infantry Brigade Command Sergeant Major at Camp Atterbury, Indiana, said he looked forward to continuing Division East's important mission.

"I look forward to serving with the Soldiers and civilians of First Army Division East, and Command Sgt. Maj. Rose, I appreciate your mentorship," he said.

First Army mobilizes, trains, deploys and demobilizes all Army National Guard and U.S. Army Reserve forces throughout the continental United States, providing trained and ready forces for diverse missions worldwide. First Army is comprised of two divisions: First Army Division East, located at Fort Knox, Kentucky, and First Army Division West, located at Fort Hood, Texas.