FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- Brig. Gen. Timothy J. Daugherty relinquished command of the U.S. Army Combat Readiness Center to Col. Andrew C. Hilmes in a change of command ceremony held Aug. 22 at the United States Army Aviation Museum.

Lt. Gen. Walter E. Piatt, director of the Army staff, presided over the traditional change of command ceremony where Hilmes was officially recognized as commander after receiving the organization's colors.

In a welcome speech, Piatt expressed confidence in Hilmes' ability to lead the USACRC.

"He's certainly the right person to pick up the baton right now from Tim. He's a proven leader, in combat and in garrison," Piatt said. "He knows firsthand how vital safety is to operational readiness."

Hilmes was commissioned as an Armor officer following graduation from the United States Military Academy in 1995, and he most recently served as deputy commanding officer for Maneuver, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Georgia. As commander of the USACRC, Hilmes will lead the Department of Defense's premier safety training and accident investigation agency.

"I am beyond excited to assume command at the CRC," Hilmes said. "I cannot think of a more noble or selfless mission than our enduring focus on accident prevention and the preservation of the most valuable component of Army readiness, our people."

Piatt also lauded Daugherty's leadership and accomplishments while assigned to the USACRC.

"The Army is now on track to having less total on-duty aviation and ground Class A mishaps than the last 20 years. That's an indicator that leaders and units are doing the right thing the right way in operations and training," Piatt said. "And your work here at the Combat Readiness Center has made a lasting impact on our Army."

Daugherty thanked USACRC team members for their commitment to Army safety.

"Safety has always been paramount to me. Safeguarding the wellbeing of our Soldiers is something I have always taken very seriously. Being able to work every day with a group of people as dedicated to the safety mission as the workforce of the CRC has been an absolutely amazing experience," Daugherty said. "Your hard work every day for the organization and our Soldiers is why today's Army is the safest that it's been on duty."

For more information on the USACRC, or to view Hilmes' complete biography, visit https://safety.army.mil/HOME/Leadership#cbp=mediaid12790