MANNHEIM, Germany (Feb. 28, 2008) -- United States Army, Europe and 7th Army's 5th Signal Command welcomed a new commander in a ceremony on Woods Field at Sullivan Barracks here Feb. 27.

Brig. Gen. Jeffrey G. Smith Jr., who recently served as deputy commanding general of Network Enterprise Technology Command and 9th Signal Command at Fort Huachuca, Ariz., accepted command from Gen. David D. McKiernan, USAREUR commanding general.

Outgoing commander Brig. Gen. Susan S. Lawrence served eight months as 5th Signal's commander, and will move on to become commanding general of NETCOM and 9th Signal Command.

"I look forward to the future and our continued service together," said Lawrence in her remarks during the change of command ceremony. "NETCOM may be an ocean away, but -- to the credit of the 'Dragon Warriors' (the Soldiers of 5th Signal Command) -- I know we will always be superbly connected."

"Today's Soldiers and missions require the very best, and that's what we got with you," McKiernan said of Lawrence.

Smith, born at Fort Monroe, Va., returns to Germany after previously serving in the 56th Field Artillery Brigade, 440th Signal Battalion, European Command headquarters, and most recently, as commander of the 22nd Signal Brigade from 2002-2004. Smith led the 22nd during their deployment in support of the first iteration of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

"There is no better fact than to state the rightness of this assignment for my family. We are home. Brig. Gen. Lawrence, you and your command have made me feel as if I had never left," Smith said during his remarks.

In 2004, Smith served as deputy commander of the U.S. Army Signal Center at Fort Gordon, Ga. In 2005, he was assigned as U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command's first director for the TRADOC Program Integration Office for Networks at the Signal Center to develop the Army's concept for LandWarNet.

Smith received a doctorate in English literature from Princeton University and then taught English from 1989 to 1992 at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y. He has also attended the National War College in Washington, D.C.