Local U.S. Army Corps of Engineers hosts Change of Command ceremony
July 15-21, 2019
By Cait Smith
On July 9, 2019, the Army Corps Engineers’ Little Rock District held a Change of Command Ceremony at 10 a.m. in the Witt Stephens Jr. Central Arkansas Nature Center. Colonel Robert G. Dixon relinquished command to Colonel Eric M. Noe. Dixon, who was commander and district engineer for the past three years and served in the Army for 26 years, retired. Noe, who served in Washington D.C. on the Joint Staff as a Deputy Director of Operations and Presidential Strike Advisor, became Little Rock’s 61st commander and district engineer.
The purpose of the Change of Command ceremony is to emphasize the continuity of leadership and unit identity as well as to symbolize the transfer of command responsibility from one individual to another.
The ceremony started with the Posting of the Colors followed by the “National Anthem” sung by Alec Tripp and Lisa Yoakum. A short invocation was done by Rodney Eason then the award presentation was given by Brigadier General Paul E. Owen. Owen is the Commander and Division Engineer of the Southwestern Division (SWD), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
For the retirement portion of the ceremony, remarks were given from Owen, Dixon, and Noe. Dixon was presented with an assortment of awards alongside some of the ones he already has such as the Defense Meritorious Service Medal with one leaf cluster, Meritorious Service Medal with six oak leaf clusters and the Army Staff Identification Badge. As a part of Dixon’s closing speech, he spoke words of encouragement and trust as new commander Noe takes over.
Arkansas’s Army National Color Guard performed the Retirement of Colors, and to end the ceremony, the musical selections “The Engineer Song” and “The Army Song” were sung.
1. The transfer of command is physically represented by passing the command flag – the tangible symbol of the unit – from the old commander to the new. (Photos by Cait Smith)
2. (Left to right) Brigadier General Paul E. Owen, Colonel Eric M. Noe, and Colonel Robert G. Dixon singing “The Army Song” and “The Engineer Song.”