The U.S. Army Training Support Center conducted a change of command ceremony Tuesday at the Fort Eustis Club.
Col. Sharon Baker, incoming commander and former ATSC deputy commanding officer, replaced Col. Mark Edgren, outgoing commander, after 15 months in command during the ceremony.
First to make remarks was the reviewing officer Brig. Gen. Paul Funk, deputy commanding general, Combined Arms Center for Training.
“We’re here to say farewell and welcome,” General Funk said. “It’s kind of a bitter day, but also a day of new challenges. Over the last 15 months, this organization has been tremendous in its pursuit of excellence and sincerity for helping Soldiers.”
General Funk thanked Colonel Edgren for everything he did during his time in command.
We’re very proud of you,” he said. He then told Colonel Baker that she is now entering the arena.
“I look forward to working with you even more in the future,” he said.
Next to make remarks was the outgoing commander.
“I want to thank General Funk, who’s established a climate in CAC-T where we, his subordinates, were free to conduct our missions and frank discussions were welcome,” Colonel Edgren said. “I thank you for the opportunity to command.”
He also thanked the ATSC command group for its support.
“Finally, I want to thank a very special colonel, my deputy and now commander, Sharon Baker,” Colonel Edgren said. “She has been loyal, hard working, thoughtful, a sage counselor, and, most of all, a very good friend. I came to rely on her for advice and a second opinion. Her qualities stand out for anyone to see.”
He said when leadership for ATSC was discussed, Colonel Baker was the obvious choice.
“Sharon, I know you will do this job well as I’ve taken your measure over the past year,” Colonel Edgren said. “Your instincts are solid. Your problem-solving skills are superb. I thank you ahead of time for the job I’ll know you’ll do for ATSC CAC-T and our Army.”
He said it had been an honor to lead ATSC and was fortunate to have his wife by his side.
“Elizabeth, you have always believed the best for me,” Colonel Edgren said. Thank you my love.” He closed by asking ATSC to support Colonel Baker, who made final remarks.
“That sounds good,” she said of her introduction as the new ATSC commander. “I’m well aware of the responsibility given to me today.” She then thanked General Funk for the opportunity to command.
Colonel Baker, who has been at ATSC for more than a year and the DCO for nine months, said she prides herself on answering the call because it’s the right thing to do. The values she lives by include intensity, honor and fairness.
“I know I have a hard act to follow,” she said, calling her friend intelligent, witty and a breath of fresh air. “He created an environment that rewards performance and holds people accountable. We made a great team. Thanks for what you did for the command and me personally.”
She closed by expressing her appreciation for her daughter, Caitlin, a freshman at George Mason University.
“Thank you for always supporting your mom,” Colonel Baker said. “I love you.”