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From left, Lt. Gen. Kevin Mangum, deputy commanding general and chief of staff of Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC); Maj. Gen. John G. Rossi, incoming commanding general of Fort Sill and the Fires Center of Excellence, and outgoing commander Maj. Gen. Mark McDonald “troop the line” atop a World War II-era M-16 machine gun motor carriage as Air Defense Artillery Museum Curator Jonathan Bernstein takes the wheel.

Sill gets new commander

People traveled from near and far to witness Fort Sill's historic change of command ceremony on Tuesday.

The post brought out all the pomp and pageantry at its disposal to say farewell to Maj. Gen. Mark and Connie McDonald. They are leaving for Huntsville, Ala., where the general will take the reins of the Army Security Assistance Command.

At the same time, the Fires community welcomed two trailblazers from the Air Defense Artillery (ADA) branch, Maj. Gen. John G. and Liz Rossi and their daughter, Angelina. Rossi now becomes the first air defender to command Fort Sill and the Fires Center of Excellence.

Bravo Battery, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Field Artillery (FA), presented honors to the incoming and outgoing commanders by firing twin 13-round salutes. Members of the Fort Sill Half Section presented McDonald with the canister of the last round and Rossi the canister of the first round fired in their honor.

The Half Section also participated in a guidon exchange. In the words of Fort Sill narrator John Starling, "A tradition which has been passed through the ages is the return of the commander's guidon upon his departure. This guidon has been proudly displayed by the FA Half Section since May 4, 2012."

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