Mid Atlantic Army Recruiting Battallion Change of Command

By Karen Bragg | Mid Atlantic Army Recruiting Battallion | Aug. 12, 2019


On August 2, 2019, the Mid Atlantic Army Recruiting Battalion hosted a Change of Command Ceremony as U.S. Army Lt. Col. Keith D. Bryant relinquished command to U.S. Army Lt. Col. Brendan P. Toolan. The ceremony was held at the Battalion Headquarters, JB MDL, Lakehurst New Jersey.

     As the Battalion bid farewell to Bryant, and welcomed Toolan, a host of dignitaries and honored quests were in attendance. Guests included, Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army, Honorable Ken Wong, Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army, Robert J. Maguire, Army Reserve Ambassador Daniel Rubini, Dr. Lawrence Feinsod, Executive Director, New Jersey School Board Association, Dr. Kenneth Hartman, Founder and President of Our Community Salutes and Capt. Bill Sherrod.

      The families of Bryant and Toolan were among the honored quests. Mrs. Meredith Conlan-Bryant, Toolan’s wife Gijin, and their son Grady (4). Toolan’s father, Brian, mother, Maureen and brother Seamus, who served seven years as a Military Police Officer also attended the ceremony.

       The passing of the battalion colors is a time honored tradition, signifying the responsibility associated with the command. In the ceremony, the Battalion Command Sergeant Major, who represents the backbone of the battalion, hands the colors to the outgoing commander, the outgoing commander, then passes the colors to the Brigade Commander, signifying the return of the responsibility which he was entrusted upon assuming command. The Brigade Commander then passes the colors to the incoming commander, demonstrating his confidence in the new commander’s ability to handle the responsibility of command, and maintain or better the unit. The new commander then passes the colors back to the command sergeant major, who is entrusted with their safe keeping.

       U.S. Army Colonel Cushing delivered his remarks, and stated, "we always ask Commanders to leave their units better than how they found them. Keith has done just that. Having enlisted over 4,600 young men and women and opened doors previously closed to recruiting across Pennsylvania and New Jersey." He continued by saying, "Brendan and Gijin, welcome to the team,. You are joining a great organization. I challenge you to think every day about the mothers and fathers who are counting on you to take care of their sons and daughters. We have a lot of people counting on us to be great….not just good, but great. I am confi-dent that you are up for the challenge. Take care of your soldiers and they will take care of you."