FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. --First Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team began the new year by welcoming a new commander, Jan. 7.

A change of command is a time-honored ceremony that represents a symbolic passing of responsibility, authority and accountability of command from one leader to another. The outgoing Lt. Col Matthew T. Adamczyk relinquished his command to Lt. Col. Robert K. Tracy, in a ceremony hosted by Col. Joseph E. Escandon, commander of 2nd Brigade Combat Team.

"Eighteen months ago I welcomed [Lt. Col. Adamczyk] into command. In that speech I said that First Strike is gaining another outstanding leader…a tried and true infantry combat leader with multiple combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan," said Escandon. "Serving in units such as the 82nd Airborne Division and the 75th Ranger Regiment."

Adamczyk, who led under the call sign "Talon 6," led First Strike during a period of intense training. Two weeks after assuming command in June of 2017, he deployed the battalion to Fort Bliss, Texas, where they served as the opposition force for the "Strike" brigade's support of the Army's Network Integration Evaluation exercise. Next, First Strike conducted that year with squad, platoon and company evaluations at Fort Campbell to prepare the battalion for the rigors of a March 2018 rotation at the Joint Readiness Training Center in Fort Polk, Louisiana.

"Under Talon 6's leadership, this infantry battalion performed brilliantly," said Escandon. "He ensured that his battalion had a mission command system that was absolutely mobile, survivable, modular and highly effective."

During the ceremony, Adamczyk thanked the Soldiers of First Strike, his family, friends and colleagues for everything they have done to help him during his time in command.

"Being part of a team with such exceptionally talented, dedicated and happy leaders made coming to work every day simply put - fun," said Adamczyk. "Each and every day of my time in First Strike, someone, some team, demonstrated our motto: 'I'm a Strike Soldier, I fight where I'm told and win where I fight.'"

Adamczyk's next assignment will be at Fort Carson, Colorado, where he will build and command a battalion of the 4th Security Force Assistance Brigade, one of the Army's highest priority missions.

"(Lt. Col. Adamczyk), you will be greatly missed within the Strike Team. We wish you all the best at Fort Carson," Escandon said. "You will always be a Strike Soldier."

Tracy, who now assumes the title of Talon 6, comes to First Strike from the Office of the Chief of Legislative Affairs at the Pentagon in Washington, DC.

"I am truly honored to be joining your team, and I am thrilled about the work we will do together in the future," said Tracy.