Col. Ted Martin assumed the command of the U.S. Army Armor School July 7 during a ceremony held at the Post Gazebo. Martin is the 45th and final chief of armor for Fort Knox. As commandant, it is Martin's duty and mission to move the Armor School down to Fort Benning, Ga.

Maj. Gen. Michael Ferriter, commanding general of the U.S. Army Maneuver Center of Excellence at Fort Benning, passed the command colors to Martin during the ceremony.

"Martin is the right man for this very special moment," said Ferriter. "He is a cavalryman, he's a warrior, (and) he's a leader."

Ferriter explained that Martin has been active in the military for 27 years and served in the 3rd and 4th Infantry Divisions. Martin was also commander of the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division when he led them in a deployment to Iraq. Following his tour of duty in Iraq, he was the commander for the Operations Group at the (National Training Center, Fort Irwin, Calif.).

"There's no one better to train and prepare armor and cavalry Soldiers to fight and win on the 21st Century battlefield," added Ferriter.

Martin thanked the commanders and guests for attending the ceremony and expressed how humble he felt at how far he had come in his military career.

"Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think that the scrawny cadet who stood number 117 out of 117 on the Armor Branch Order of Merit list for the class of 1983 would one day assume duty as the 45th Chief of Armor, and the commandant of the Armor School...this really is a fantastic day for me personally and professionally, and for my family," he said.

He also understands that there is some doubt and frustration surround-ing the move of Armor away from Fort Knox.

"Some would say that the very existence of the Armor Branch hangs in the balance, and that the future is fraught with danger," Martin said. "After all, we are replacing a major general with a colonel and moving from the Mecca of the tank universe-wonderful Fort Knox, Ky.-to an unknown and murky future in far off Fort Benning, Ga.

"Where others see danger, I see opportunity...I see a new beginning for the combat arm of decision," he said.

Martin, along with the school's Command Sgt. Maj. Ricky Young, is ready to begin the move and complete the mission successfully. He believes that the combining of the Armor School and Infantry School into the Maneuver Center of Excellence will not diminish the presence and power of armor.

"For the first time in history the commanding generals of both Training and Doctrine Command and Forces Command are both armor officers," he said. "The Armor School, and our branch, will not only survive, it will thrive."