By Sgt. Dianne CarterNovember 10, 2012
FORT GORDON, GA - The 63rd Signal Battalion (Expeditionary), 35th Signal Brigade, held a Change of Command Ceremony Nov. 2, 2012 at Barton Field at Fort Gordon, Ga.
The ceremony was to welcome in the new incoming battalion commander, Lt. Col. Michael P. Martel, and to say farewell to the outgoing commander, Lt. Col. Keith A. Garwold.
During this time honored ceremony Col. Thomas A. Pugh, commander of 35th Sig. Bde., spoke to the audience about the type of leader Lt. Col. Garwold showed during his two years in command of 63rd ESB.
"Lt. Col. Garwold drilled and exercised his companies to technical and tactical excellence and then individually deployed each one," said Pugh. "Keith Garwold is a quiet, but affective leader, who cares about his Soldiers and their Families. I believe this trait to be his real key to success."
Garwold commanded the 63rd through deployments and redeployments of A, B and C Companies, all at different times in his 2 years as commander. He also most recently prepared, certified and deployed the 518th Signal Company to Afghanistan.
Garwold walked to the podium to speak to his battalion one last time. "The 63rd has completed its missions, learned and grew. Despite the operational tempo, the battalion put dozens of its Soldiers' names on the commandant lists, honor graduate status at the NCOES schools and led the Lion Brigade both years in retention."
After taking command of 63rd ESB, Martel spoke to his battalion for the first time. "63rd, I am honored to stand before you as your commander. Serving you and this battalion is a responsibility I take very seriously. I promise I will give you my best every day and I ask the same from you."
Martel's most recent assignment was the S6 for the 75th Ranger Regiment, where he deployed five times in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom as a Joint Special Operations Task Force J6.
"Today, the 63rd ESB stands ready to add another line to its extremely impressive lineage," said Col .Pugh. "It will do so with Lt. Col. Martel at the helm."