By CECOM Public Affairs April 14, 2017
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (April 14, 2017) -- Following a time-honored tradition which demonstrated the orderly transition of organization leadership, the Commanding General of U.S. Army Communication-Electronics Command (CECOM) and Senior Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG) Commander, Maj. Gen. Bruce T. Crawford, relinquished his command to Maj. Gen. Randy S. Taylor in a ceremony here April 13.
General Gus Perna, Commanding General of Army Materiel Command, hosted the change of command. Perna emphasized the importance of command of the 16,000-strong CECOM worldwide workforce which provides, integrates and sustains the Army's Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) readiness.
"When I pass the colors from Maj. Gen. Crawford to Maj. Gen. Taylor I pass the responsibility, the authority, over, said Perna. "What does that mean? It is the health and care of 16,000 people. It is the responsibility of executing missions for Soldiers around the world. It is the responsibility for executing over $2 billion worth of authorities. This is not to be taken lightly. The responsibility is significant."
Taylor arrives at CECOM and APG with a wealth of Army Signal experience. At age 19, Taylor enlisted in the Field Artillery as a surveyor and worked his way up to becoming a Fire Support Team Chief. After graduating from the University of Maryland, he was commissioned as an Infantry officer and immediately assigned in 1988 to the Berlin Brigade where he served before, during and after the fall of the Berlin Wall. As a Signal officer, he completed deployments to Haiti, Somalia, Afghanistan and Iraq prior to serving in a White House assignment under the George W. Bush administration. Taylor's latest position was as the Director of Architecture, Operations, Networks and Space in the Office of the Army's Chief Information Officer/G-6, at the Pentagon.
Speaking to more than 400 ceremony attendees, including many leaders from municipalities that surround APG Taylor said, "We are successful here at APG because of our strong local community partnerships. Our guards, law enforcement, first responders and emergency service personnel--those who defend our nation's defenders--are all extremely effective in large part because of our close relationship with local communities in Harford and Cecil counties."
Crawford assumed command of CECOM in May of 2014, and guided the organization as it executed Army communications and intelligence material logistics, maintenance, training and field assistance efforts in support of global operations and Combatant Command needs. During his three years at CECOM, Crawford also initiated business processes to ensure the organization remains ready to support current and future Army missions. His efforts included working across the Army to provide implementation recommendations for a centralized and coherent software management plan, reinvigorating Home Station Training efforts to enable Soldiers to attend targeted network systems training classes at their home installations, and has integrated initiatives to ensure units have access to timely and efficient field service technical and maintenance support at home station and while deployed.
"We've overcome many challenges, but what I remember most, and what has inspired me throughout my charge, was knowing that 35 months ago, I asked you to trust me," Crawford said. "And not a day or week has gone by that I've not reflected on the enormity of that request. At the end of every decision I've made, was a Soldier, was a family, and was the livelihood of the great civilian employees that take care of our Army. That trust is the absolute bedrock or our existence as members of what is consistently the most respected profession--the profession of arms."
At APG Taylor will not only be responsible for commanding CECOM, but also serve as the senior commander of the installation. APG's 21,000 employees, belonging to more than 11 major Army commands and more than 70 tenant organizations, answer some of the toughest Defense Department challenges in areas such as electronic warfare, cyber, software, networking communications, composite material development, armor research and chemical/biological and radiological protection.
"We are unique here at APG; no one else does what this team does to enable our Army's readiness to fight and win our nation's wars," Taylor said. "We have just one customer and that's the American Soldier: The Soldier who's deployed in harm's way or must be ready to deploy. Our Army, and our country and quite frankly the world, need us to succeed here as a team. We have no other option."
U.S Army CECOM ensures the global readiness of complex, networked Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) systems that provide our forces with advanced information and technology needed to communicate on today's battlefield. CECOM provides systems engineering support, training expertise, network and cyber defense capability development, field service support, supply chain management and depot manufacturing and sustainment operations. Headquartered at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, CECOM is comprised of 16,000 personnel, spanning seven organizations at 59 locations in 23 states and 11 countries.