ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. -- The U.S. Army Evaluation Center, or AEC, gained a new sergeant major during a change of responsibility ceremony July 17 at the U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command, or ATEC, Headquarters on Aberdeen Proving Ground.

With the passing of the AEC colors during the ceremony, Sgt. Maj. Michael A. Goodman assumed responsibility as AEC sergeant major from Command Sgt. Maj. Gabriel A. Espinosa Jr.

James C. Cooke, director of AEC, presided over the ceremony and spoke at the event, highlighting and thanking Espinosa for being such a remarkable leader in the Army over the years.

"It has been an honor having you serve here at AEC, being my right hand man and helping provide the utmost professionalism, respect and leadership to the workforce," said Cooke.

Espinosa entered the Army January 1988 and attended the Basic and Advanced Individual Training at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. Since then, he has carried numerous leadership positions from section chief to command sergeant major.

Under his adept leadership, AEC successfully conducted over 500 tests including initial, follow-up, demonstration, rapid initiative, and assessments, providing the essential information required for the acquisition and fielding of war-fighting systems.

With Espinosa's vision, tenacity, professionalism, and extraordinary leadership, he created a climate for increasing efficiency and improving effectiveness while ensuring "truth in testing" was always provided to ATEC's ultimate customer, the warfighter.

Cooke stated that within the 18 months Espinosa served at AEC, he worked hard to help others understand the importance of test and evaluation. "Since a lot of the command's workforce is primarily Civilians, he made an effort to familiarize them with what the Soldiers go through so we can successfully complete the mission."

"Looking back over my career from the beginning to present, I am most proud of having the ability to have an influence on both soldier and civilian careers," said Espinosa. "I will miss the people, the work and the comradery I've had while serving at AEC."

"He [Espinosa] has had an incredible impact on this organization, and he's going to have an incredible impact in his next job, or wherever he may go," said Cooke.

Cooke then congratulated and welcomed Goodman and his family to the AEC team.

"I am so thrilled to have you and your family join the team," said Cooke. "You are going to do a fantastic job serving as the AEC sergeant major."

Goodman previously served as the Brigade Operations Sergeant Major at the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division in Fort Drum, New York. He has held numerous leadership positions to include: Team Leader, Section and Squad Leader, Platoon Sergeant, First Sergeant, and Battalion Operations Sergeant Major.

"I believe that action and deeds speak louder than words. I love this country, I love the Army, and the Soldiers and Civilians that make up this complex melting pot, that we call the United States of America," said Goodman. "I look forward to adding to the great team at ATEC and AEC."

Espinosa received the Legion of Merit from the Director of the Army Staff and the Certificate of Appreciation from the Commander in Chief. Vanessa Espinosa, spouse of Espinosa, received the Outstanding Civilian Service Medal from ATEC's former commander, Maj. Gen. John W. Charlton and the Certificate of Appreciation from the Chief of Staff of the Army.