CASERMA EDERLE, Italy -- The Vicenza Military Community bade farewell to U.S. Army Garrison Italy's Command Sgt. Maj. Daniel B. Dennison and welcomed Command Sgt. Maj. Mason L. Bryant in a change of responsibility ceremony here Sept. 28.

The ceremony at Hoekstra Field included "passing the sword" from the outgoing command sergeant major to the incoming, a long-held noncommissioned officer tradition.

Garrison Commander Col. Steve Marks presided over the ceremony. He thanked the Dennison family for their years of dedication to the Vicenza community and the U.S. Army, and shared some thoughts about Dennison's professionalism.

"We all know that NCOs are the standard-bearers of our profession, whether training our formations, leading in combat, maintaining discipline throughout the force, or caring for Soldiers and their families," Marks said. "They set the very foundation on which we build our Army. Command Sgt. Maj. Dennison understands this and worked tirelessly to ensure that, as a garrison, we reinforced and developed the necessary fundamentals that are required in our NCO Corps."

Dennison leaves Vicenza after almost two years in the position and made sure to thank and praise the community here.

"I didn't think, in two years, that I would actually see a community grow this much," he said. "It has become a better place to live and for families to grow, and that has been absolutely awe-inspiring to watch."

The incoming command sergeant major is no stranger to the community; in his 26 years of military service, he has served in Vicenza for 12 years. Bryant said he is appreciative of the opportunity to serve in the new position.

"I look forward to serving this community for the next 30 months as the garrison command sergeant major," Bryant said. "I will continue to try and improve upon the high standards of care for the community that the garrison is currently providing."

Bryant was born in Evansville, Ind., and is a career infantryman who entered the Army in June 1990 at Fort Benning, Ga., where he completed Basic Training, Advanced Individual Training and Airborne School. He has held numerous leadership positions such as team leader, squad leader, drill sergeant, platoon sergeant, first sergeant, battalion operations sergeant major and battalion command sergeant major.

The new command sergeant major has served at Fort Knox, Ky.; Fort Polk, La.; Fort Bliss, Texas; Fort Bragg, N.C.; Fort Benning; and Vicenza. He is a member of the Sergeant Audie Murphy Club. Bryant also is a recipient of the Order of St. Maurice.