By Brandon BieltzJune 21, 2012
FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md. (June 21, 2012) -- For the first time in the unit's short history, the 780th Military Intelligence Brigade welcomed a new commander.
Col. Jennifer G. Buckner took command of the unit from Col. Jonathan E. Sweet during a change of command ceremony Friday at McGlachlin Parade Field.
Sweet was the first commander of the 780th MI following its activation last December. He has been assigned as chief of the Intelligence Engagement Division at U.S. Europe Command headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany.
The ceremony's host was Maj. Gen. Stephen Fogarty, commander of U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command.
"Leaders will change, but the mission continues," Fogarty said in his speech. "This is the strength of our Army, that our loyalty is ultimately to the nation and to the mission and not to a single individual."
The 780th MI activated with the mission of conducting signals intelligence and computer network operations and enabling Dynamic Computer Network operations of Army and defense networks.
"Your innovative work in cyberspace is vital to the defense of the United States and its allies," Fogarty said to the Soldiers. "You set the standard every day as you conduct extremely complex operations as part of a joint intergovernmental, interagency and multinational team.
"I'm extremely proud of the fact that this brigade is making significant contributions every day in support of Army and national requirements."
Sweet was handpicked to lead the 780th MI seven months ago when it was activated as the Army's first cyber operations brigade.
"It was clear that Jon Sweet was the right man for this challenging assignment," Fogarty said. "Under his leadership this brigade has continued to evolve their doctrine while daily executing operations that support the Army combative commands, the Army Cyber Command and the U.S. Cyber Command. ... Job well done Jon."
During his remarks, Sweet thanked members of the 780th MI for their work in helping to startup the new unit.
"I have been incredibly blessed to be surrounded by some of the best noncommissioned officers, officers, Soldiers, contractors and Department of Army of civilians who simply will not let this brigade fail," he said. "I leave today confident in their ability to conduct their mission."
At the end of his remarks, Sweet said he believed Buckner was the best officer to take command of the unit and that she would take the 780th MI to the "next level."
"The incoming commander is exceptionally well qualified to command this brigade," Fogarty said. "Colonel Jennifer Buckner has a long record of superb service and performance in a variety of tough, tactical and technical jobs including combat operations."
Buckner, who graduated in 1990 from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., is a career intelligence officer who has served various roles during her more than two decades of service.
Her assignments took her to the 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C.; 159th Combat Aviation Group in the 18th Aviation Brigade (Airborne), Fort Bragg, N.C.; 501st MI Brigade, Yongsan, South Korea; U.S. Army South, Puerto Rico; 206th MI Battalion, Fort Gordon, Ga.; and the 303rd MI Battalion, 504th Battlefield Surveillance Brigade, Fort Hood, Texas, and Iraq.
From 2003 to 2004, Buckner served as training and operations officer of the 206th MI Battalion. She then served as the executive assistant to the Army deputy chief of staff for Intelligence at the Pentagon from 2004 to 2005.
Buckner also has served in several joint assignments at U.S. Cyber Command; the National Security Agency-Georgia; Joint Interagency Task Force West, Iraq; and the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Buckner comes to the 780th after recently completing the U.S. Army War College Cyber Fellowships at the NSA.
During her brief remarks, Buckner said she was excited to join the 780th and looked forward to continuing the growth of the unit and its capabilities.
"I am indeed honored to join your ranks," she said.