FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md. -- Soldiers, Families and Civilians of 742nd Military Intelligence Battalion welcomed their new commander in a change of command ceremony on June 16.
Lt. Col. Tissa L. Strouse assumed command of the "Might Through Vigilance" battalion from Lt. Col. Jimmy T. Gaw during a ceremony officiated by Col. Rhett R. Cox, commander of the 704th Military Intelligence Brigade.
"Today is a significant day in the history of this battalion as we bid farewell and thank lieutenant colonel Jimmy Gaw for his dedicated and selfless service as the commander of the 742nd MI battalion for the past 25 months and we welcome lieutenant colonel Tissa Strouse and her family to the Electron Recon Team," said Cox.
The 742nd MI is charged with conducting Signals Intelligence Operations and training to deliver cryptologic enterprise capabilities to the National Security Agency, the Army, Joint, and Combined Forces.
Strouse, a Texas native, addressed the Soldiers standing before her in formation and said, "It is truly an honor and a privilege to stand before you here today looking out over this parade field at the sons and daughters of America. You represent the courage and bravery of a small percentage of our population who possess the desire to defend the values and morals on which our fore fathers founded this great nation."
Cox described the outgoing commander as a quiet professional who "doggedly" pursues solutions to complex problems, someone who is highly competitive that hates losing more than he likes winning, a great team mate, and above all, someone who has never forgotten what our current sergeant major said: "we are all just Soldiers."
The outgoing commander of 742nd MI said his last 25 months have been the best in his Army career.
"I'm honored to have been your commander and feel privileged to have walked daily among my heroes," said Gaw, who took a moment to list dozens of those heroes and their accomplishments by name, including three of his heroes who are a little closer to home -- his family.
He gave a special tribute to his two children and his wife.
To all that he named and to the hundreds of others he said he should have, "I give you the only thing I can that no one can ever take, and this is my thanks for a job well done."
Gaw, who had served as the 742nd MI since May 2015, will soon be retiring from the Army after 24 years of service.
Strouse, who most recently served as the Deputy Commander of the National Ground Intelligence Center in Charlottesville, Virginia, joined the Army in 1990 for six years as a counter intelligence specialist and after a five year break in service, commissioned through the North Carolina State University Reserve Officer Training program as a distinguished military graduate.
Her awards and decorations include the Bronze Star, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal, and the Humanitarian Service Medal.
She holds a Master of Arts degree in Management from Webster University and a Bachelor's of Science degree in Sociology from Methodist University.