Excelling at everything is a rare trait. But for one general officer, it is something he has done since completing the Reserve Officer Training Corps as a distinguished military graduate in 1979, and it has held true throughout his career to include excelling as the commanding general of the Network Enterprise Technology Command, or NETCOM, for just 12 months. Those accomplishments were recognized Aug. 15 during a relinquishment of command ceremony in the NETCOM auditorium.
Maj. Gen. Alan Lynn relinquished command of NETCOM to Brig. Gen. Pete Gallagher, NETCOM’s deputy commanding general, in front of a packed audience of military, government civilians, Family members and members of the local community. The ceremony was presided over by a previous NETCOM commanding general and current Army Chief Information Officer/G-6, Lt. Gen. Susan Lawrence.
The ceremony consisted of the symbolic passing of the unit colors from Command Sgt. Maj. Earl Allen, NETCOM command sergeant major, to Lynn, who then passed the colors to Lawrence signifying his passing the command to his senior, and then Lawrence passed the colors to Gallagher giving him the responsibility to oversee the command until the Army chief of staff appoints a new commanding general. The final act in the ceremony was the return of the colors to Allen for keeping.
After the ceremony, the three generals spoke. Lawrence opened the remarks by stating that ceremonies such as this have been a proud tradition of the Army for more than two centuries.
“As one commander departs, he ensures that all know his successor is vested with full responsibility, authority and accountability,” said Lawrence. “The symbolic passing of the colors tells everyone that the unit and its Soldiers are never without leadership, and it demonstrates the continued trust and allegiance of Soldiers to their commander.”
Speaking of Lynn’s time with NETCOM, Lawrence said “I can unequivocally say that his departure is heavily tinged with sadness,” as she pointed out that Lynn loves Soldiers and having his hands deep in the operational side of the Army. She said that although the decision to move him to the Defense Systems Information Agency, or DISA, after only 12 months of command here was a hard one, it was the right one because he is the right leader at the right time to send to DISA.
Lynn was the next to speak. He started his remarks by telling everyone in the audience how much he and his wife, Brook, will miss Fort Huachuca and the Sierra Vista community.
“Thank you for standing by my side during the tough times,” said Lynn as he spoke about the sequestration and the many other challenges NETCOM faced during the past 12 months. “You are all true patriots, tough and resilient.
“As I look into the audience, I recognize so many people that I want to thank; but I know in doing so I would lengthen this speech, which is never a crowd pleaser,” Lynn said. “I am not good with goodbyes because honestly, I don’t want to let go of any of the great patriots and friends I have met here, so let me just say ‘until we meet again’.”
Following Lynn’s remarks, Gallagher spoke about how much he appreciated Lawrence coming to officiate at the ceremony.
“It is truly special for the NETCOM and Sierra Vista community that she is back home in Fort Huachuca officiating today’s ceremony as one of her final formations before she brings her distinguished career of honorable and faithful service to a close,” Gallagher said, noting Lawrence will soon retire after 41 years of service to the nation and the Army.
Gallagher spoke about how he knows he is being entrusted with the care and leadership of the men and women of NETCOM.
“The demands of this trust are not to simply ‘hold down the fort,’ but to lead this great organization with every ounce of my heart, mind, body and soul to provide the best possible services we can for our Army in a time of fiscal uncertainty,” Gallagher said.
Gallagher concluded his remarks by quoting from a past Army leader, Gen. Matthew Ridgeway, a commanding general during the Korean War:
“You will have my utmost; I shall expect yours.”