FORT SILL, Okla.-- The 30th Air Defense Artillery Brigade welcomed a new commander during a change of command ceremony June 22 at Polo Field on Fort Sill.

The field was filled with Soldiers and audience members saying goodbye to Col. William Stacey and welcoming Col. Michael Simley.

To signify the change of command, Maj. Gen. Mark McDonald, Fires Center of Excellence and Fort Sill commanding general, accepted the unit colors from outgoing commander Stacey and presented them to the new commander, Simley.

Stacey was the commander of the 30th ADA Brigade for two years and said one of his greatest accomplishments was receiving an Institution of Excellence rating from Training and Doctrine Command. This distinction is obtained by achieving a score of 95 percent or higher during an accreditation visit.

"At the end of the day all [TRADOC] could say was, 'Wow, you guys are an institution of excellence' and that's the official marking they gave us. I'm very proud of that," said Stacey. "Our experience here at Fort Sill has been so personally and professionally rewarding."

Stacey said the hardest part about commanding the 30th ADA Brigade was the transition from Fort Bliss to Fort Sill.

"The biggest challenge was taking families and Soldiers that had grown up and been a part of Fort Bliss for so long and getting them to embrace the new environment here at Fort Sill. The good news is they have," he said. "Nothing in the Army prepares you for getting a family, outside of your own personal family, to become a part of a new community."

McDonald praised Stacey and the brigade for their achievements.

"The 30th ADA brigade has proven to be a mission-focused organization committed in excellence to training our Army professionals," said the general.

"That description sounds much like the brigade commander of these last two years Colonel Bill Stacey. Thank you for your leadership that you imparted to the brigade Soldiers, noncommissioned officers and officers. You clearly understand the ADA's place in the chief of staff's guidance to the Army," said McDonald. "Simply put, you've done a fantastic job."

Stacey welcomed Simley and his family to the brigade and wished them "the very best of luck."

"This is an outstanding organization. You're a member of a fantastic community, and I can only hope the very best for you," said Stacey, who moves on to Fort Shafter, Hawaii, and the duties of chief of staff of the 94th Air and Missile Defense Command.

"Interestingly enough I'm going to work with the same guy I worked with here. I don't know how that works out, but it will be a great assignment," he said.