JOINT BASE LEWIS-McCHORD, Wash. -- Colonel John Kelly assumed command of Army ROTC's 8th Brigade June 4 in a change of command ceremony here. Major Gen. Jefforey Smith, commanding general of U.S. Army Cadet Command, was present to transfer the unit colors to Kelly from Col. Charles Evans, who has led the brigade for nearly two years.

Kelly, a field artillery officer, is a 1989 graduate of the United States Military Academy. He has a Master of Science degree education and was a professor of military science at Loyola College in Maryland. Kelly comes to Cadet Command from the Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kan., where he served as instructor with the tactical commander's program.

Smith, during his remarks, lauded Evans for his efforts as commander of the Viking Brigade and of the Leader Development and Assessment Course, also known as Operation Warrior Forge, Army ROTC's capstone training and assessment exercise, held annually at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

Cadet Command's 8th Brigade is responsible for the Junior and Senior Army ROTC programs in eight western states and the Pacific rim and for planning and carrying out the Leader Development and Assessment Course.