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Fort Gordon Welcomes New Commandant to Cyber School

The Cyber Operations Center at Fort Gordon, Ga., home of the U.S. Army Cyber School. (US Army photo/Michael Lewis)
The Cyber Operations Center at Fort Gordon, Ga., home of the U.S. Army Cyber School. (US Army photo/Michael Lewis)

Soldiers, family and friends on Friday filled the Signal Towers auditorium at Fort Gordon, Ga., to welcome the commandant of the U.S. Army Cyber School.

Col. Kenneth A. Rector, who served as commandant of the cyber school for 15 months, handed the school's guidon to Brigadier Gen. Neil S. Hersey symbolizing his position as outgoing commandant. Hersey is the first general to serve as commandant for the cyber school.

Maj. Gen. John B. Morrison Jr. described the change of leadership as "bittersweet."

"Like all change of responsibility it is a bittersweet day as we bid farewell to our cyber school commandant while welcoming another great senior leader," he said at the ceremony.

As part of his outgoing speech Rector, who will be retiring later this month, highlighted what he considered to be pivotal moments of progress under his leadership of the cyber school, which includes building the school's cyber force and witnessing its growth from 15 graduates within its first year.

"I have seen the growth and the exceptional work already accomplished and continued to work diligently to move the cyber school forward as it matures," Rector said during Friday's ceremony. "Now it's time for these responsibilities to be passed along to an exceptional officer."

Morrison said Hersey is "exactly the right leader at exactly the right time."

Prior to becoming commandant of the cyber school, Hersey served as Director of the Joint Cyberspace Center at MacDill Air Force base in Florida.

During the ceremony, Hersey said he was humbled to be the new commandant and is looking forward to matching Morrison's efforts of educating and training those in the school.

"I look forward to leading the army and our sister services to train and educate our Army's cyber warriors," he said. "There is work to be done."

Hersey holds a master's degree, in national security strategy and military applied arts and sciences, from the National Defense University and the Air University.

Hersey's operational experience includes deployments to Hungary, Bosnia, Croatia, Macedonia and Italy in support of operations Deny Flight, Joint Endeavor, Joint Guard, Joint Forge and Allied Force.

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(c)2017 The Augusta Chronicle (Augusta, Ga.)

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