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Brig. Gen. Donald G. Fryc, left, commander of 32nd Army Air and Missile Command at Fort Bliss,Texas, presents the guidon of the 31st Air Defense Artillery Brigade to its incoming commander, Col. Kevin F. Ciocca, at a change of command ceremony at Fort Sill Friday.

Sill's 31st ADA Brigade swaps commanders

The 31st Air Defense Artillery (ADA) Brigade swapped commanders in a ceremony at Fort Sill Friday as Col. Michael T. Morrissey turned over the guidon to Col. Kevin F. Ciocca.

Morrissey's next assignment will have him working in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. The incoming commander has been the ADA School's assistant commandant since July 2013.

Brig. Gen. Donald G. Fryc, commanding general of the 32nd Army Air and Missile Command at Fort Bliss, Texas, returned to serve as reviewing officer for the ceremony. He congratulated the new commanding general of Fort Sill and the Fires Center of Excellence, Maj. Gen. John G. Rossi, and lavished praise on the job Morrissey did as commander of Fort Sill's only Forces Command ADA brigade.

Fryc compared Morrissey's performance to Hall of Fame baseball player Frank Robinson, who in 1966 had the most runs batted in, the highest batting average and the most home runs.

"As we look at Mike's command tour of the 31st, I'm going to say, 'Wow, what a season,'" Fryc said.

Fryc said Morrissey batted "1,000 percent" by deploying air defenders to such places as Afghanistan, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Turkey and Bahrain and bringing them safely home. Morrissey deployed with them for nine months.

"When we called, his troops were ready. When he was needed, he put them there. Mike, that was a phenomenal result across all those countries," said Fryc, crediting the soldiers in formation on the Polo Field with preserving freedom for another generation.

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