Peterson Air Force Base, Colo. - Changes of Command are exciting opportunities for Army units because they bring new ideas and processes into the Army with each new team. They are times to reflect on recent accomplishments of the units. These events are also a part of Army life as leaders move on to other responsibilities, inside and outside of the command. In April, the 1st Space Battalion held two changes of command for 2nd Space Company and 4th Space Company.

On Apr. 7, Maj. Mike Russell transferred responsibility of the 2nd Space Company (Army Space Support) to Maj. Todd Leitschuh during a ceremony in the training rooms of Building 3. Soldiers of the 2nd Space Company, standing in formation at the front of the room proudly represented their commander and first sergeant. In traditional fashion, the company guidon was formally passed from the outgoing commander, Russell, to the Battalion Commander, Lt. Col. Tom James, who then passed it to the incoming commander, Leitschuh, charging him with his new responsibilities.

Russell was thankful for being given the opportunity to command the 2nd Space Company and thanked those who supported him throughout his command.

"My wife, Janet, has been the best supporter of me while in command, and I thank her," said Russell.

Lastly, Russell thanked 1st Sgt. John Bruce for being the Rock of the Company, a great personal mentor and a fair, compassionate leader to the Soldiers.

On Apr. 17, 4th Space Company, led by Maj. Jeff Groskopf, changed command at the Air Force Space Command Headquarters auditorium. Groskopf, repeating the change of command ritual referred to earlier, passed command of his company to Maj. Randy Wheeler. As with the 2nd Space Company change of command, the 4th Space Company Soldiers represented the command and their company well.

Groskopf said his farewells to the Soldiers of the company that served him well during his year of command, at home and in combat. He thanked his family, previous and present superiors, and gave enormous praise to his First Sergeant, Douglas Bram, for being a quality leader.

Wheeler and Leitschuh were both excited about the opportunity to command space companies. Collectively, their personal goals are to take their new units to new heights. With these goals, the companies are in excellent hands.