By Mr. Michael Maddox (ROTC)June 23, 2017
Leadership of U.S. Army Cadet Command's 1st Brigade changed hands as Col. Dan Kelley handed the unit colors to incoming commander Col. Sean Barnes during a change of command ceremony June 12 at Fort Knox's Olive Theater.
During the event, 1st Brigade also welcomed Command Sgt. Maj. Randy Wright, who is replacing Command Sgt. Maj. Kenneth Clayborn.
Barnes comes to Fort Knox from Camp Smith, Hawaii, where he served as chief of plans, U.S. Pacific Command. Kelley is heading to Fort Shafter, Hawaii, where he will serve as the G-7 for U.S. Army Pacific.
Maj. Gen. Chris Hughes, commander of USACC and Fort Knox, presided over the ceremony.
He shared a few thoughts on both of the outgoing leaders of 1st Brigade.
"The Army's success completely depends on the quality of its leaders," said Hughes. "When a leader is a commander, we expect responsibility, authority and accountability--these three are absolutes. Command is a job of immense personal satisfaction combined with relentless pressure and responsibility.
"Together Col. Kelley and Command Sgt. Maj. Clayborn fostered a command climate of absolute teamwork, and as a result, they successfully trained and recruited more than 1,600 Army officers. There is a tremendous history associated with this brigade--a legacy that teaches each command team they must build on that legacy and expand its reputation. They have provided superior leadership and mentorship to their cadre, cadets and staffs."
Hughes said he looks forward to working with Barnes and Wright.
"I know these two gentlemen are up to the challenge of commanding 1st Brigade and I look forward to working with both of you as you continue the brigade's legacy, and expertly produce the next generation of Army officers," Hughes said. "You will make a fine addition to the leadership here at Cadet Command."
After Hughes finished his remarks, he introduced Kelley, who then stepped to the podium. During his comments, Kelley shared his pride in the people who he credited for his success as commander.
"Command Sgt. Maj. Clayborn and I have been fortunate to have truly solid professionals in our programs. (Maj.) Gen. Hughes talked about all of the great things we did, but it's really those professors of military science and senior military instructors that make that happen," he said. "It's truly a remarkable, frankly the best group of assembled leaders that I've dealt with the entire time I've been in the Army. They made our job easy and I know they will continue to do that."
During brief remarks, Barnes said he is looking forward to continuing the success of the "Spartan Brigade."
"As our nation continues to face global threats, both our Army and our nation demand Soldiers and leaders who thrive in uncertainty and can lead our Soldiers," he said. "Command Sgt. Maj. Wright and I look forward to the opportunity to work with the leaders in Cadet Command, and develop those leaders of character presence who thrive in uncertainty and lead change for tomorrow."
The U.S. Army Cadet Command is the largest single source of new officers for the Army, commissioning the majority of the Army's new officers each year through the senior ROTC program.