FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md. - In a traditional ceremony in front of Soldiers, family members and friends, the 704th Military Intelligence Brigade changed command and welcomed a new command sergeant major July 1 on the parade field at Fort Meade, Md.
Col. Michele H. Bredenkamp assumed command of the brigade from the outgoing commander, Col. Anthony R. Hale, while Command Sgt. Maj. Lawrence G. Hoke accepted responsibility from Command Sgt. Maj. Mark A. Thornton.
Bredenkamp joins the brigade from Fort Bragg, N.C., where she served as the deputy commander for the Joint Special Operations Command, and Hale will spend his next assignment at Bragg where he will serve as the U.S. Forces Command G-2.
Major Gen. George J. Franz III, the commanding general of the U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command, was the reviewing officer of the ceremony. He welcomed Bredenkamp and expressed his confidence in her and mentioned Hale's accomplishments while in command.
"While we are here to conduct a change of command, this ceremony also honors the great Soldiers of the 704th MI brigade," Franz said. "The brigade's support of the National Security Agency and the Army missions and the tremendous leadership they provide to the global intelligence enterprise has been phenomenal. These Soldiers are the unsung professionals."
Hale thanked attendees for being there to honor the Soldiers and took the opportunity to offer his final words of thanks for all they accomplished over the last couple of years.
"Standing before you on parade is just a sampling of the brigade's 1800 soldiers," he said. "They work in 86 different work centers, 24 hours a day, seven days a week and they represent the finest signals intelligence Soldiers our Army has to offer."
Hale mentioned that he has known Bredenkamp for a long time, has worked with her in the past and even deployed with her in 2010.
"I know of nobody else I would rather be passing the brigade colors to today," he said.
Bredenkamp expressed her pleasure to serve with the Soldiers and civilians of the brigade and said she was looking forward to the next couple of years.
The Soldiers standing in the field today look magnificent and are the strength of our Army and our nation," she said. "I'm incredibly honored and humbled to have the special privilege to serve amongst the Soldiers, civilians and families of the 704th."