NATICK, Mass. (Jan. 5, 2017) -- Brig. Gen. Anthony W. Potts assumed command of Natick Soldier Systems Center in a Jan. 5 ceremony at NSSC's Hunter Auditorium.

Potts will also serve as deputy commanding general of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, or RDECOM, at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland. He comes to Natick from Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama, where he was special assistant to the Program Executive Officer -- Missiles and Space. Like his predecessor at Natick, Brig. Gen. Thomas H. Todd III, Potts is an Army aviator.

Todd departed Natick in the ceremony, which was hosted by Maj. Gen. Cedric T. Wins, RDECOM commanding general. An Alabama native, Todd will take charge of Program Executive Office -- Aviation at Redstone Arsenal, but he said he won't forget Natick or its people.

"This assignment has truly made a difference in our lives," Todd said. "You have made an impact in our lives, and we will always be an adopted family (of Natick and New England)."

Todd talked about the many significant accomplishments, visitors and upgrades at NSSC in the year-plus that he was here. He urged the Natick workforce to carry on in his absence.

"Team Natick, stay strong, stay true to our Soldiers," Todd said. "It's never been about you. It's always been about young volunteers, sons and daughters. You are certainly going to do well at the task at hand -- to provide those sons and daughters with unmatched capability so that they can accomplish the difficult task that our nation requires of them and return home safe."

Wins pointed out that in his time leading Natick, Todd had brought the NSSC community closer together.

"He has brought a diverse, joint, interagency, and intergovernmental team together through daily leadership, as well as the various projects that he has spearheaded and pushed in the right direction," Wins said. "This includes the development and the establishment of the new front gate (and) renovations to this … auditorium.

"He's also been busy as the Army senior leader in this region, telling the Army's story to the Massachusetts Congressional Delegation, and the governor of Massachusetts and state senators and representatives, so they'll have an appreciation of what the Army does and what the Army brings and how this particular installation and all the associated tenants could contribute to that effort.

"His role as the RDECOM deputy commanding general moved him from a regional and even national focus as Natick's senior leader to a global focus where research and development of key technologies will ensure our Soldiers remain the centerpiece of our Army."

Wins also spoke highly of Potts, detailing his extensive background prior to arriving at Natick.

"In a true Army tradition, a farewell to one great leader signals a pivot to another outstanding leader who will assume the mission, and that's Brigadier General Tony Potts," Wins said. "Brigadier General Tony Potts has earned the Army's trust, and I know he and his family will become treasured assets here in Natick as they take their place in a long line of commanders who have served here, and served here with distinction."

In his brief remarks, Potts said that he was happy to be at Natick.

"I'm a simple Soldier," Potts told the gathering. "God is first, my family is second, and my job is third.

"I'm looking forward to working with the entire community here. You do such amazing work."