Army embraces change — welcomes new command
By Staff Sgt. Nancy Spicer, 29th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment
The Maryland Army National Guard hosted the change of command and change of responsibility ceremony at the historic 5th Regiment Armory in Baltimore, Maryland on June 2, 2018. Col. Janeen L. Birckhead assumed command of the Maryland Army National Guard from Brig. Gen. Timothy E. Gowen. Command Sgt. Maj. James M. Nugent assumed responsibility as the senior enlisted leader of the Maryland Army National Guard from Command Sgt. Maj. Kimberly A. Mendez. Maj. Gen. Linda L. Singh, 29th adjutant general of the Maryland National Guard, presided over the ceremony. Singh stated that she feels like a proud parent when she see leaders that she has served with and mentored take command.
“Change is something you have to embrace,” said Singh. The outgoing commander Gowen, who initially took command shortly before the civil unrest in Baltimore, stated that he always likes to leave things better than he found them. “I am most proud of my talent management system,” said Gowen of his time in command. “I consider it a feather in my cap.”
In attendance were units from Joint Force Headquarters Detachment, 70th Regiment, 58th Troop Command, Maryland Army National Guard Staff Element, 29th Combat Aviation Brigade, and 58th Expeditionary Military Intelligence Brigade as Birckhead assumed command.
“It’s an honor to take the guidon,” said Birckhead. The passing of the unit colors represents the transfer of authority and responsibility for the unit from one commander to another.
Birckhead explained how the organization success depends on developing disciplined soldiers from diverse backgrounds who are committed to serve. Her focus will be on, readiness, recruiting, retention and resiliency.
“I’m ready to lead,” said Birckhead. “Get ready for the ride.”