FORT DETRICK, MD -- Col. Mark Baxter replaced Col. Aaron Webster as commander of the 21st Signal Brigade during a change of command ceremony here recently (July 13).
Baxter, a native of Chase Mills, New York, reports to the 21st Signal Brigade from United States Army Europe, assistant deputy chief of staff, G-6, Heidelberg, Germany.
The 21st conducts network operations for theater-based LandWarNet communication systems, networks and enterprise services and provides information services support to generating forces, and intergovernmental, interagency, and civil authorities during unified land operations.
"Everywhere I go, I brag about the 21st and its full plate of not one, two, three or four, but many no-fail missions," said Brig. Gen. LaWarren V. Patterson, commanding general, 7th Signal Command Theater). "The 21st has the Army covered from the desktop to the battlefield, from the foxhole to the president - 24/7/365."
Webster will serve at Department of the Army Headquarters in the Pentagon with the G-3/5/7.
"Aaron, I know that you would prefer that all of my praise go to your team, but their success would not be possible without your 'just right' leadership," said Patterson to the outgoing commander. "You've had a tough job, but you excelled despite the many obstacles, last minute requirements, and constant changes that have marked your time at the 21st."
Patterson presented the Legion of Merit to Webster in a separate awards ceremony.
The incoming commander has served in a wide variety of signal corps assignments over the last 25 years. Col. Baxter's career started with the 235th Tactical Satellite Company at Fort Monmouth, N.J. followed by an assignment with the Defense Information System Agency Field Service Office in Korea.
Additional assignments include U.S. Space Command, Colorado Springs; 58th Signal Battalion in Okinawa, Japan; Headquarters, Pacific Command; 11th Signal Brigade, Fort Huachuca, Ariz.; and in Afghanistan with the Afghan National Army (Office of Military Cooperation-Afghanistan).
Col. Baxter also commanded the 69th Signal Battalion in Grafenwoehr, Germany, and served in Afghanistan with the International Security Assistance Force.
Selected to attend the Senior Service College, Col. Baxter's military education includes Joint Professional Military Education Phase II, Command and General Staff College, Joint Space Fundamentals and Joint Intel Space Operations Course, Space Control Qualification Course, Combined Army Services Staff School, Signal Officer Advanced Course, and the Signal Officer Basic Course. He holds a Master of Science degree in Telecommunications.
The 21st Signal Brigade reports to 7th Signal Command (Theater).
7th Signal Command provides unity of command for network operations in the Army North and Army South Areas of Operations, consolidating many loosely affiliated networks into a single standardized network enterprise. Through its three theater strategic signal brigades, Network Enterprise Centers at each Army installation in the continental United States, and two Theater Network Operations and Security Centers, the command delivers critical IT solutions, capabilities, and services to the Army, supporting war fighting, generating forces, and intergovernmental, interagency and civil authorities.