By Yvonne Johnson, APG NewsJune 21, 2019
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. -- With military precision and time-honored customs and courtesies, a transition in leadership transpired flawlessly as Maj. Gen. Randy S. Taylor ceded his position to Maj. Gen. Mitchell L. Kilgo during the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command change of command ceremony at the Myer Auditorium here, June 20.
As the CECOM commander, Kilgo also assumes the role of APG senior commander.
Gen. Gus Perna, commander of the U.S. Army Materiel Command, presided over the ceremony and led the traditional passing of the organization colors, assisted by CECOM Command Sgt. Maj. Frank Gutierrez.
Among the standing-room-only crowd were several former CECOM commanders, including current Army CIO/G6 Lt. Gen. Bruce Crawford. In attendance as well were commanding generals from the Program Executive Office-Command Control, Communications-Tactical; Combat Capabilities Development Command; CCDC C5ISR Center; PEO-Intelligence, Electronic Warfare & Sensors; and the Network Cross Functional Team - collectively, better known as Team C5ISR (Command Control, Communications, Computers, Cyber, Intelligence, Surveillance & Reconnaissance); and Director of the Defense Information Systems Agency, or DISA, Navy Vice Adm. Nancy Norton.
Perna praised Taylor for his accomplishments within CECOM and APG and said Taylor did a remarkable job garnering support from the surrounding community. Regarding Taylor, Perna said it is important to consider qualities like sacrifice, responsibility and leadership when assuming a command and that Taylor exemplifies all the qualities of a good leader.
"He came to CECOM with a great record and a great reputation and we had very high expectations for him," he said. "I am not disappointed and our Army is not disappointed.
"Under his leadership, CECOM maintained an aggressive emphasis on readiness and supply availability," Perna added. "They are the first command to implement the repair cycle float program and forward repair capability. They are pushing readiness to where the warfighter is."
He said other CECOM accomplishments on Taylor's watch include a reduction in equipment turn-around time and consistently meeting Army readiness communications requirements at 95% or higher. Taylor excelled, he said, at building relationships within his command and in the local community.
"Everyone understands what CECOM brings to the fight," he said, adding that much of that is because of Taylor's ability to push the command forward.
Perna said the Army has two purposes: to prepare for war and to execute war -- and within the execution of war it must shoot, move and communicate. Without communication, he said, shooting and moving cannot take place.
"That's what this command does. This command operationalizes itself, from here at APG, and up in Tobyhanna [Army Depot], and forward repair capabilities to the warfighter. This team, led by Taylor, has done remarkable things over the past two years. Your effort has increased Army readiness -- the Army Secretary and Chief's [Chief of Staff of the Army] number one priority. Your effort has given confidence to Soldiers on the battlefield; a confidence that they know when they need help, they can talk to somebody to get help.
"Thanks for your leadership, thanks for your ability and thanks for your courage,"
To the audience, Perna said "Thank you for all you do for Aberdeen Proving Ground. I know you'll be equally supportive of Maj. Gen. Kilgo."
Maj. Gen. Randy S. Taylor
Quoting British poet and philosopher G.K. Chesterton, who said, "The true Soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him," Taylor said his service to CECOM, the Army, and the nation has been all about love.
He said he is inspired by his love for his spouse, Lucas, who "set his personal interests aside" to support Taylor's career, as well as the Gold Star family members "who lost a loved one in the defense of our freedoms," that he's come to know during his time at APG.
"My second love is serving as an American Soldier, who, like all U.S. service members, swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution of our great nation," he said.
Taylor thanked his "amazing staff," senior executives, subordinate commanders and their teams.
"Words cannot express how thankful I am for your leadership, commitment and competence," he said.
Taylor expressed confidence in his successor and thanked the community for its support of APG and its team members.
"I believe, as General Perna believes, that Maj. Gen. Kilgo is the right leader at the right time for CECOM and APG," he said. "Lucas and I have been honored to be part of this team of teams and we will treasure these memories the rest of our lives. Thank you for all your support and friendship. Army Strong."
Maj. Gen. Mitchell L. Kilgo
Perna said that when Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley chose Kilgo as the next CECOM commander, he was assured that Kilgo would, "take Taylor's efforts, keep moving in the same direction, and take it to the next level."
Calling Kilgo a "quiet professional" he said his reputation affirms that he is accountable and holds others accountable.
"At the end of the day, you do what you think is right and I will underwrite it," he told Kilgo. "I'll have your back. Congratulations. I look forward to serving with you."
Kilgo expressed gratitude for the opportunity to lead CECOM and APG.
"And I will assure you," he told Perna, "that this command will continue to provide the combat power that our Army deserves."
Kilgo comes to CECOM and APG from the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) where served as the G6 and oversaw the implementation and management of the global communications and computer networks for the command.
The ceremony included organization formations of commanders and directors on stage representing CECOM's subordinate commands: the Army Contracting Command-APG; Central Technical Support Facility, Fort Hood, Texas; CECOM Integrated Logistics Support Center; CECOM Software Engineering Center; Tobyhanna Army Depot; and the U.S. Army Information Systems Engineering Command, Fort Huachuca, Arizona.
The invocation and benediction was presented by CECOM Chaplain (Col.) Darin Nielsen and the U.S. Army Band "Pershing's Own" brass quintet provided musical support.
In addition, CECOM subordinate and neighboring commands provided displays in the C5ISR courtyard. They included a counter fires/counter target acquisition radar system by Product Manager Radars, led by Capt. Timothy Hancock of Program Executive Office Command, Control, Communications-Tactical; a Transportable Tactical Command Communication, or T2C2, inflatable satellite by the Combat Capabilities Development Command's C5ISR Center, led by Darin Hendricks; and a satellite transportable power terminal led by CCDC C5ISR Center Engineer Robert Dell.