By Sgt. Joshua Bowles (INSCOM)July 31, 2012
The Soldiers of the 707th Military Intelligence Battalion welcomed their new commander and said goodbye to their former one July 17, 2012, on Barton Field at Fort Gordon, Ga.
The ceremony was presided over by the commander of the 706th Military Intelligence Group, Col. John M. Swartz. The outgoing commander of the 707th is Lt. Col. J. Michael McNealy and the incoming commander is Lt. Col. Bryan R. Gibby.
"The success of the 707th can be directly attributed to its competent and unflappable commander Lt. Col. Mike McNealy," said Swartz. "Mike is a hopeless optimist who has molded this battalion into a cohesive, motivated, disciplined and relevant organization. Mike understands the environment he is in and as a result he has been an extremely effective battalion commander, a community advocate, a joint warfighter and an outstanding NSA Georgia site partner. Mike, I am proud to have served alongside you. You have done a phenomenal job with the 707th. With these Soldiers you are the example I measure other organizations against."
Swartz went on to welcome the new battalion commander.
"Today we welcome to command Lt. Col. Bryan Gibby," said Swartz. "Bryan and his family come to Fort Gordon after spending time with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's Land Component Command in Madrid, Spain. Bryan has a wealth of experience, talent and motivation and he is a great addition to this team."
McNealy spent the majority of his time thanking the Soldiers of his battalion for all they had done during his time as commander.
"25 months ago I took command of the 707th," said McNealy. "I said then and I say again today, to command a unit is a privilege. To command a unit during a time of war is an exceptional privilege. It has been a distinct honor to serve with such a tremendous group of professionals and Soldiers, our nation's sons and daughters. Excellence is your standard. Thank you for everything you have done for our nation, for our mission and for yourselves. Thank you for teaching me what you know, for caring about each other and for being the professionals that you are day in and day out. You are the best SIGINT battalion in the U.S. Army and I have been very proud to serve with you."
McNealy went on to thank his family for their support during his time as commander.
"I would like to thank my wife Sarah and daughter Brigid," said McNealy. "Thank you for following me down here on this adventure, for the unending support and the patience and energy you gave me. It allowed me to be the commander I wanted and needed to be for these magnificent Soldiers and I could not have done it without your love and support."
McNealy finished his farewell speech by welcoming in the new commander.
"To Lt. Col. Gibby and his wife Desrae; Sarah and I have enjoyed getting to know you as you transitioned into the unit," said McNealy. "We can only hope you have as fantastic of an adventure and journey as we did. We have every confidence the 707th will continue to flourish and reach new achievements on your watch."
The new commander of the 707th MI BN highlighted his dedication to the unit and mission.
"Desrae and I are humbled by this opportunity and privilege to be your command team," said Gibby. "We will do our very best to support you, your families and your mission. I look forward to learning all I can about the business and being responsible to provide trained and enthusiastic Soldiers for the mission."
"To conclude, we have one focus, one purpose," said Gibby. "We are going to find the enemy. Our nation trusts us to be the best sword and shield for our fellow warriors. Make no mistake; we are every bit invested in this era of persistent global conflict. We must win. We must be better than our adversaries. So, let's go out and find the enemy. I am totally confident that you will do it."