Change of Command ceremony symbolizes cooperation

Pvt. John Hudspeth
21st Theater Support Command

***image1***The U.S. Army and Air Force joined their French and German counterparts to form a purple, multi-national color guard in support of the German Military’s Second District Command change of command Feb. 28 in Mainz, Germany.
The German Military’s Second District is home to servicemembers from four countries, among those Soldiers from 21st Theater Support Command, Airmen from U.S. Air Forces in Europe and their partnership unit, the Joint Support Command.
The command is one of four major territorial commands directly under the Joint Support Command and covers the states of North-Rhine Westphalia, Hesse, Rhineland- Palatinate and Saarland with an additional task for deployment providing military police, signal and communication assets.
German Maj. Gen. Bernd Diepenhorst assumed command of German Military Second District Command from Maj. Gen. Christian Millotat, who was retiring from the German military after more than 30 years service.
Currently, several thousand German troops are helping to guard American military facilities in the Federal Republic and the importance of that partnership is not lost on anyone.
“The partnerships we see today, which are being built and reinforced between the American Soldiers and Airmen, French soldiers and German soldiers are symbolic of global teamwork,” said Capt. Mohammad Naji, of the 16th Battalion, French Army, Saarburg.
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“What we see here is that we all have to work together, that we cannot stand alone if we want to accomplish what lies before us. These are key foundations we are building for success,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Seidal, the NCO in charge, Joint Support Command with the German Army. “We all have the same goals.”
Beginning the ceremony, each formation of representatives marched onto the parade field and faced the podium where speakers addressed Soldiers and civilians. In all, there were about 300 guests and 350 military members in formations.
After guest speakers surmised the appreciations they felt for such a display of teamwork on a multi-national level and their confidence in the former and in-coming commands, all three national anthems, from each of the representatives, were played by the German Marching Band.
“It’s very humbling to be here representing the 21st TSC, especially in a multi-national environment like this,” said Spc. Kathleen Boone, computer technician, 21st TSC.