In a Change of Command ceremony earlier this week in Boston, Mass., District Commander Col. Christopher J. Barron passed the command flag, signifying change of command authority of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in New England, to new District Commander Col. William M. Conde.
Presiding over the ceremony was Maj. Gen. Kent Savre, Commanding General at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, and who represented the Corps of Engineers, North Atlantic Division.
The custom of acknowledging a change in command officers of a military unit is a formal ceremony and dates back to pre-Roman times. It emphasizes the continuity of leadership and unit identity, despite changes in individual authority, and symbolizes the transfer of command responsibility from one individual to another.
This transfer is represented by passing the Command Flag, the tangible symbol of the unit, from the outgoing commander to the next senior officer to the new commander.
In June 1995, Col. Conde was commissioned a 2nd lieutenant in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. He has served in various U.S. locations and in Iraq, Afghanistan and Korea.
Challenges he will face include regulatory activities, navigation and dredging, environmental restoration, clean up at former defense sites and other issues.