WEST POINT, N.Y. (July 20, 2011) -- West Point cadets have a new commandant at the helm as Brig. Gen. Theodore Martin took command as the 73rd commandant of the United States Corps of Cadets July 15.

He replaced newly promoted Maj. Gen. William Rapp at a change of command ceremony at Eisenhower Hall.

Martin began his military career as a new cadet July 2, 1979.

During his time as a cadet, he was captain of the Army swim team in 1982-83. In 1983, Martin was commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant in the Armor branch. During the ceremony, Superintendent of West Point, Lt. Gen. David Huntoon Jr., spoke to the audience about the incoming and outgoing commandants.

“Cadets have and will be well served by these two senior leaders of character,” Huntoon said.

Martin’s command experience includes commander, C Company, 2nd Battalion, 64th Armor Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division, Federal Republic of Germany; commander, 1st Squadron, 10th U.S. Cavalry Regiment, also known as Buffalo Soldiers, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Hood, Texas; and Operation Iraqi Freedom in Iraq.

Martin’s most recent assignment was as the 45th chief of Armor and commandant, Armor School, Fort Benning, Ga.

“The welcome I received now, July 2011, contrasts greatly with the reception I received July 2, 1979 reporting to the cadet with the red sash,” Martin said. “The world is a dangerous place and the future has teeth. The threat is real and growing. Victory, like every other war since 1775 won’t be found in a test tube or laboratory, it will be found in the hearts and minds of men and women of character.”