COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. Aca,!" In war there is always death and in life there is always change. As for the 100th Missile Defense Brigade (Ground-base Midcourse Defense), a change came by recently the way of one manAca,!a,,cs retirement from the Army after 34 years of service.

Command Sgt. Maj. Joseph B. Rhodes said his thanks and goodbyes during the change of responsibility and retirement ceremony held at the Air and Space Museum hanger on Peterson Air Force Base, Nov. 1.

Rhodes assumed the duties of the Command Sergeant Major of the 100th MDB (GMD) October 1, 2006. Before he came to the 100th, his previous assignments included acting as Command Sergeant Major for the 1st Battalion 157th Field Artillery Battalion and 169th Field Artillery Brigade located at Buckley Air Force Base, Aurora, Colorado.

Rhodes is a native of Durango, Colorado, is married and has six children. He enlisted in the Colorado Army National Guard in 1976 as a Fire Direction Specialist. He completed his Baccalaureate Program at Roger Williams University in August 2007.

Rhodes has held many key leadership positions including Fire Direction Chief, Gunnery Sergeant, Chief of Firing Battery, First Sergeant and Battalion Command Sergeant Major.

He has completed all levels of the NCO education system, including Senior Battle Staff NCO course.

His staff assignments include Recruiting Area NCOIC, Intelligence Sergeant and Operations Sergeant for 1st Battalion 157th Field Artillery and the Operations Sergeant Major for 169th Field Artillery Brigade where he also served as the Operations Sergeant Major for Deputy Chief of Staff of the Colorado Army National Guard.

RhodesAca,!a,,c many awards and decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Army Commendation Medal with four oak leaf clusters and Army Achievement Medal with three oak leaf clusters, Good Conduct Medal (tenth award) and the Overseas Deployment ribbon with five devices.

Rhodes comes from a long line of military service members. His great grandfathers, grandfather, dad, stepfather and continuing with his two sons have served. One son is currently in the Army and the other will be joining soon. He charged those still serving to work hard so that the younger generation will have the leadership necessary to continue to be the strongest military force in the world.

Aca,!A"To those that are still wearing the uniform, defend the freedom, defend the family,Aca,!A? said Rhodes."Teach my sons and protect the country.Aca,!A?

With the departure of Rhodes, the 100th MDB welcomed back to the unit Command Sgt. Maj. Russell Hamilton, who was promoted to Command Sergeant Major before being passed the sword representing the exchange of command.

Hamilton entered active duty in the US Army on July 25, 1986, at Ft. Knox , Kentucky, where he began training as an armor crewman.

Hamilton spent 16 years as an armor crewman, in a variety of leadership and developmental positions. From 2003 to 2009, Hamilton served as a member of the 100th Missile Defense Brigade. During that time, Hamilton served as a Future Operations Officer on a Missile Defense Element crew, Brigade Master Evaluator, and Brigade Operations Sergeant Major.

HamiltonAca,!a,,cs most recent assignment was as the human resource Sergeant Major for the Colorado Army National Guard.

Hamilton assured the unit nothing would change as far as the leadership and the expectations that have been in place but he made it clear that one big change was in store.

Aca,!A"Unless AC/DC or Bon Jovi adds bagpipes to one of their songs, chances are, Sir (addressing the brigade commander) you have heard bagpipe music for the last time from the command sergeant majorAca,!a,,cs office.Aca,!A?

Hamilton also expressed his feelings on returning to this unique unit.

Aca,!A"I am honored to once be in the ranks of the 300 Soldiers charged with protecting 300 million Americans and the American way of life 24/7 365 days a year."