On a field made green by the summer monsoons, under a blue Southern Arizona sky and in front of our nation’s flag flying in the early morning breeze, Maj. Gen. Jennifer Napper passed the reins of the U.S. Army Network Enterprise Technology Command to Maj. Gen. Alan Lynn in a ceremony Aug. 9 here at Brown Parade Field.
Napper was chosen to become the director of Plans and Policy, J-5, U.S. Cyber Command, Fort Meade, Md. She had been the NETCOM commanding general since Sept. 22, 2010.
Lynn was the 35th chief of Signal and commanding general, Signal Center of Excellence and Fort Gordon, Fort Gordon, Ga. He had been at that position since July 21, 2010.
Presiding over the ceremony was Lt. Gen. Rhett Hernandez, Army Cyber Command/2nd U.S. Army commanding general.
Hernandez commended Napper on her unwavering support to NETCOM and its Soldiers and civilians and her advancements as he said, “It’s amazing and overwhelming to consider what this command has accomplished in less than two years with her leadership. Who would have imagined what this team could achieve during her short period of command here. Her determination to take the load off of our Soldiers and her commitment to the vision of One Network are the hallmarks of her command.”
Speaking about the time-honored tradition of changes of command, Hernandez said “Changes of command have been a proud tradition of our Army for more than 237 years. Today we witnessed the passing of this command’s long history, traditions, and accomplishments.
“This ceremony also entrusts Major General Lynn with the responsibility for the mission and the welfare of the Soldiers and civilians of NETCOM.”
With the colors of all the theater signal commands, brigades and headquarters in front of the official party, it was Napper’s final opportunity to express her gratitude to the men and women of the command.
“I want to personally and publically thank the NETCOM Soldiers and civilians,” Napper said. “ … for never forgetting to put Southwest Asia and our missions there first. For all the many achievements already discussed by Lieutenant General Hernandez. For building partnerships across the Army and the Joint community including DISA, for embracing ‘The Year of Execution,’ and for doing everything in your power to get inside the heads of those we support.”
Napper ended her remarks by giving a special thanks to all Army Families, “ … the selfless volunteers who serve our country through love, patience, and strength. As we drive out the gate today, know that Mark and I will keep you and the command in our hearts and prayers.”
Lynn expressed his gratitude to serve NETCOM and to those who served as NETCOM’s leaders in the past. “It is an absolute honor to be selected to command again and especially to command NETCOM, the premier signal and cyber enterprise. What an honor to follow such ground breaking and historic leaders such as generals Grombacker, McKnight, Rodgers, Kind, Russ, Hylton, Pollett, Lawrence, just to name a few, and now Napper.”
Lynn also expressed his appreciation for all the hard work and service of Napper and her husband Mark. “Thank you for your many years of friendship and for your hard work and great example while commanding here at NETCOM.”
Lynn summed up his thanks to those in attendance with a simple, but heartfelt praise “It is the Voice of the Army, the strength of our Soldiers, Families, and civilians that make us Army Strong.”
A fitting end to a time-honored tradition of a change of command came with the thunder of hooves galloping across the parade field and the air filled with smoke as Fort Huachuca’s B-Troop, 4th U.S. Cavalry Regiment (Memorial), made a cavalry charge in honor of those who serve and have served.