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NEWS | Nov. 7, 2017

29th ID Headquarters Battalion changes command at Fort Belvoir

By Master Sgt. A.J. Coyne | Virginia National Guard Public Affairs Office

Lt. Col. Edward Lewis assumed command of Headquarters Battalion, 29th Infantry Division from Lt. Col. H. Cary Payne during a traditional change of command ceremony Nov. 4, 2017, at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. Maj. Gen. Blake C. Ortner, commanding general of the 29th Infantry Division, presided over the passing of colors that symbolizes the transfer of command from Payne to Lewis.

Lewis takes command of the battalion after it recently returned from an overseas deployment and prepares for a year filled with exercises and training opportunities across the country.

Ortner congratulated Payne on his accomplishments and the performance of his Soldiers during his command.

“Lt. Col. Payne has done an exceptional job,” Ortner said. “A commander sets the course. The Soldiers do the rowing. You set the tone.

“You were the right person at the right time to take on this command,” Ortner added.

Payne, who is retiring after more than 30 years of service to the U.S. Army, was presented with a Meritorious Service Medal and left behind a few words of wisdom for his fellow Soldiers on professionalism, personal standard and being present in the moment.

“Old Soldiers never die,” Payne added. “They just fade away.”

Headquarters Battalion consists of four companies and earlier in the day a change of command was held for Operations Company, 29th Infantry Division. Capt. Christopher Duncan assumed command of the company from Capt. Isaac Seo.

“If there was one company I could have wished for,” Duncan said, “it’s this one.”

Payne lauded Seo for his leadership and accomplishments while in command.

“Isaac, you’re going to be missed,” Payne said. “Be proud of yourself and these Soldiers.”

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