By Nathan Pfau, Army Flier Staff WriterMay 24, 2012
FORT RUCKER, Ala. (May 24, 2012) -- Soldiers and Families said their goodbyes as Fort Rucker bid farewell to one of its commanders and welcomed a new commander to the Air Traffic Services Command and 164th Theater Airfield Operations Group.
The ceremony began as flowers and recognition were presented to the Families of the incoming and outgoing commanders.
The official change of command took place with the traditional passing of the colors from outgoing commander Col. James R. Macklin, to Lt. Gen. Howard B. Bromberg, deputy commanding general and chief of staff of the U.S. Army Forces Command, to the incoming commander, Col. Michael L. Shenk, symbolizing the relinquishment of command from the outgoing to the incoming commander.
Shenk expressed his gratitude and appreciation to his Family as well to those in attendance, and and said he plans to earn their trust by maintaining an ethical organization.
"Every leader of … organizations should serve with these concepts in mind," he said. "[These concepts] demand leadership of each other, demonstrate followership to our superiors and provide counsel to our subordinates."
Bromberg took to the podium during the ceremony and praised Shenk as he welcomed the Family to Fort Rucker.
He said Shenk was a proven leader who has "immense capability, worthy" of the increased responsibility he will take on as the new ATSCOM and 164th TAOG commander.
"In the past 24 years, [Shenk] has served in the most challenging assignments in our Army," said Bromberg. "Those same jobs and unique experiences make him especially qualified to lead this organization."
The general also expressed excitement to be in the home of Army Aviation, and voiced his appreciation for the amount of effort it took to conduct the ceremony, adding that it was only fitting that it take place surrounded by history.
"This venue provides all of us with a tangible sense of our history and tradition, and this morning we're surrounded by this history," he said. "I'm glad everybody could be here today in this great museum … that shows the honor and courage of great Aviation Soldiers throughout history."
Along with honoring Shenk, Bromberg also showed his appreciation to Macklin, who will be moving on to assume chief of staff duties at the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Life Cycle Management Command at Redstone Arsenal.
Macklin seemed amazed that his time on Fort Rucker had already come and gone.
"It seems like just yesterday we were in this museum and I assumed command of this amazing organization," he said. "As I sat back and reflected on my time here, I was struck with such appreciation for the incredible professionalism of both the military members and the great civilians that make up ATSCOM and the TAOG."
Bromberg also expressed his admiration for the members of ATSCOM and 164th TAOG. He conveyed his appreciation to the organizations, adding that they trained over 1,100 Soldiers in 17 different states.
"In my estimation, this team's work is both critical and essential to our nation and what we do every single day," he said. "There is no greater privilege [for] American Soldiers than commanding this organization; a truly one-of-a-kind outfit. It's a rare and very special opportunity."
As the ceremony came to a close, Shenk said the success of the organization depends on its leaders, adding that the leaders are the ones who are responsible and accountable for where the organization will be in the future.
"I feel like the Army got it right selecting [Shenk] to come here," said Macklin. "I've known [him] for years, and I know he's going to do well and move the organization to another level."