Ceremonies Reflect Cavalry Traditions

Photos and story by Roman Martyniuk, NJDMAVA/PA

Cav Change of CommandOn July 6, Lt. Col. Michael V. Shute assumed command of the 5-117th Cavalry.

The ceremony took place at Sharp Field. Relinquishing Command was Col. Stephen Hines who has since assumed command of the 50th Brigade, 42nd Infantry Division.

The entire Squadron observed the traditional passing of the colors; symbolizing the transfer of leadership from the old commander to the new. Brig. Gen. Ken Wondrack, Assistant Division Commander, 42nd Infantry Division, and Command Sgt. Maj. David Kenna, assisted in passing the flag from Col. Hines to Lt. Col. Shute.

The ceremony also featured a change of headgear where the new Commander exchanged his helmet for the historic black felt Cavalry hat and the presentation of the cavalry officer’s sword.

The 5-117th is one of the most decorated units of the National Guard with battle streamers for participation in the D-Day landings and the ensuing Battle of Normandy.

The keynote speaker, Brig. Gen. Glenn K. Rieth, The Adjutant General of New Jersey noted that the 5-117th has been the NJARNG's most called upon unit to respond to a variety of post Sept. 11 Homeland Security missions. "Whether providing additional security at the Hudson River bridges and tunnels, airports, and nuclear facilities or responding to other emergencies here in the Garden State, the troops of the 5-117th have proven time and again that they are ready, willing, and able to answer the call to service."

promotionThe Change of Command ceremony served as a backdrop for Pvt. Michael Daly's (center) promotion to private first class. The ceremony was performed by Squadron Commander, Lt. Col. Michael Shute (left), and Brig. Gen. Glenn K. Rieth (right), the Adjutant General of New Jersey.