August 14, 2016 –
LAS VEGAS - Col. Jean Henderson, a Wheaton, Illinois native, assumed command of the 505th Theater Tactical Signal Brigade in a change of command ceremony at the Taylor Hall U.S. Army Reserve Center in Las Vegas August 14, where Brig. Gen. Christopher R. Kemp, 335th Signal Command (Theater) commanding general, East Point, Georgia, was present to transfer the unit colors to Henderson from Col. Matthew Easley, who has led the unit for two years.
Henderson, a United States Military Academy, West Point, 1990 graduate, received her commission as a second lieutenant in the Signal Corps into the active component of the U.S. Army. She has served in a variety of staff and command positions, including numerous signal, law enforcement and tactical operations positions.
This outdoor ceremony was conducted in the air-conditioned Taylor Hall on one of the hottest days in Las Vegas, so the Soldiers and guests in attendance enjoyed a pleasant event.
“Today, I am humbled and honored to be your new commander,” said Henderson enthusiastically as she accepted the 505th TTSB command. “With all of my heart and mind I am going to serve the Soldiers and families of this unit to the best of my ability.”
The ceremony began with the traditional ceremonial pageantry. The standing units were summoned to order arms. The audience stood for the presentation of the colors and honors, and the units were brought to present arms, then to parade rest. These displays of uniformity were executed with discipline and precision.
In the center of the drill hall, the formal transfer of authority and responsibility for the unit took place. Command Sgt. Maj. O’Brian, who is the keeper of the colors, passed the colors to Easley the outgoing commander. He then passed the colors to Brig. Gen. Kemp, the representative of the higher command, symbolizing the relinquishment of his command. Kemp then delivered the colors to Henderson, the new commander.
Finally, the new commander passed it back to the command sergeant major, who is charged with protecting it. At the end of the ceremony, the commander of the higher command ordered the new brigade commander to take charge of her brigade.
Easley thanked his Soldiers and honored guests saying, “It has been an honor to serve with this staff and Soldiers and it has only been with your support that I could have had such an amazing journey.”
Honored guests included Alanna Simpson, U.S. Senator Harry Reid representative, and families and friends.
Informally, Brig Gen. Kemp addressed the Soldiers and audience. He thanked Easley for doing an amazing job, saying that we all have a brand and that Easley had put a great brand on the 505th TTSB.
Kemp also stated that he knew that Henderson would also do a great job, but the general’s most memorable remark was reminding the audience of one of the golden rules saying, “Treat others as you want to be treated.”
The ceremony concluded with a nice spread of catered food, which included cake and cerebration with friends, families and unit Soldiers.
Signal Support includes Network Operations and management of the electromagnetic spectrum, which encompasses all aspects of designing, installing, data communications networks that employ single and multi-channel satellite, tropospheric scatter, terrestrial microwave, switching, messaging, video-teleconferencing, visual information and other related systems.
The 505th TTSB rapidly provides deployable force projection signal support and rapid communications for the U.S. Army, joint and combined operations. Since September 11, 2001, the Signal Corps has been supporting the Global War on Terror in both Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.