FORT HUACHUCA, Ariz. - Maj. Gen. Susan S. Lawrence passed the reins of the U.S. Army Network Enterprise Technology Command/9th Signal Command (Army) to Brig. Gen. Jennifer L. Napper in a ceremony Sept. 22 here at Barnes Field House.

The weather may have moved the ceremony away from Brown Parade Field, but it did not dampen the spirits of the approximately 300 people in attendance.

Prior to the official passing of the colors, Lawrence was presented the Distinguished Service Medal by Lt. Gen. Jeffrey A. Sorenson, Army Chief Information Officer/G-6, for her work leading the command through challenges and changing times.

"As the commander of the sole organization charged with the enormous responsibility of providing, operating and defending the Army's information network, Maj. Gen. Lawrence established the foundation that allows Warfighters to access secure and trusted communications anywhere, at any time," Sorenson said.

Sorenson also commended Lawrence on her unwavering support to combined and joint commanders, and the advancement of commercialization of communications in Iraq, Kuwait and Afghanistan. However, he said her commitment to Soldiers and Civilians was her trademark.
"Maj. Gen. Lawrence's driving concern was families - families of Soldiers and Civilians alike," Sorenson said.

With the colors of all the theater signal commands, brigades and headquarters in front of the official party, it was Lawrence's final opportunity to express her gratitude to the men and women of the command.

"I want to thank the men and women of 9th Signal Command for making the last 30 months the most memorable of my career," Lawrence said. "As I take off my green tabs for the last time today, I could not have ended my command time with any better professional team of men and women who give selflessly to the mission every day.

"There is just one thing I would like to say to the men and women of 9th Signal Command as I take my leave: any success I have enjoyed in my time here can be directly attributed to those of you around me who made it happen."

Napper, who recently relinquished command of the 7th Signal Command (Theater) in Fort Gordon, Ga., is not a stranger to taking over from Lawrence.

"This is my third time to take over command from Maj. Gen. Lawrence, and I know exactly what to expect: a highly trained, motivated team that embraces the Army vision and is dedicated to bringing it to life," Napper said.

"In shaping the mission of the 9th Signal Command, General Lawrence has made huge strides in operationalizing the Global Network Enterprise Construct, changing forever the face of Army network communications, and giving our Warfighters the essential tools they need for success on the battlefield.

"While I reap the benefits of those who have commanded 9th Signal Command before me, there are still many challenges ahead... challenges that only the men and women of this organization can overcome."