ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, Ill. -- Serving as commander since May 2008, Col. Vicki Baxter bid farewell to her Soldiers of the Army Sustainment Command-Army Reserve Element in a ceremony here April 15.

Taking over the unit is Col. Vincent Barker, former assistant chief of staff, G-4 (Logistics) for the 85th Support Command, U.S. Army Reserve, Arlington Heights, Ill.

The ceremony was scheduled to be held outdoors at RIA's Constitution Square, but weather forecasts forced leadership to move the event indoors to Heritage Hall in Building 60.

Baxter was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal -- third Oak Leaf Cluster -- for her four-year tenure as commander of the ASC-ARE.

Col. Kelly Peters, commander, Army Reserve Sustainment Command, presided over the change of command and was the guest speaker.

"We exist to support the Army Sustainment Command," Peters said. Since 2005, this Reserve unit has supported ASC with expertise and resources, she said.

Calling changes of command bittersweet, Peters explained that while commanders provide vision and intent, it's the unit's Soldiers that make it successful.

During Baxter's time as commander, Peters said 230 Reservists deployed to support ASC's 401st and 402nd Army Field Support Brigades in Iraq, Kuwait and Afghanistan.

There were "huge improvements by this command as a result of your efforts," Peters said of Baxter and unit Soldiers.

"Ma'am, it is bittersweet," Baxter told Peters and attendees of the event. "Vince, you're getting the best job in the world."

Baxter recalled when she was deployed to Iraq and made the colonel's promotion list and learned she would be taking command of the ASC-ARE immediately.

She then thanked God and her church community for their strength and support to her and her Soldiers, and thanked Peters for allowing her to command.

"You set your commanders up for success," Baxter said of the unit's staff. "Vince, whatever you need, they'll make it happen."

The new commander then briefly spoke.

"I know I've got some big shoes to fill," Barker said, acknowledging the close, professional relationship Baxter had with her Soldiers.

"I'm looking forward to being in the AMC/ASC community," he said.

Baxter said her next assignment will be the Deployment Support Command-Army Reserve Element, in Birmingham, Ala., working with the Surface Deployment and Distribution Command, G-3 (Operations).

She initially enlisted in the Mississippi Army National Guard as a petroleum supply specialist and was commissioned a second lieutenant in 1985. She is currently enrolled in the Department of Distance Education -- Army War College and is slated to graduate this July.

Baxter served in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm.

She is married to retired Chief Warrant Officer 4 Daniel Baxter and currently resides in Hartford, Ala.

Barker is a native of Wisconsin and a former enlisted U.S. Marine. He received his commission from the Army ROTC program at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point in 1987.

He is currently enrolled in the Army War College and is scheduled to graduate in July with a master's degree in strategic studies.

Barker is married to the former Stephanie Swanson and has two children. The family resides in Appleton, Wis.