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(Enlarge) (Right to left) Garrison Commander Col. Edward C. Rothstein; Lt. Col. Marion Bakalorz, incoming commander of Headquarters Command Battalion; and Col. Edmund Barrett, outgoing commander of HCB, participate in the symbolic passing of the colors during HCB's change of command ceremony. (Photo by Jen Rynda)

Just one year after assuming command of Headquarters Command Battalion, Col. Edmund Barrett passed the unit's colors on to a new commander.

Lt. Col. Marion Bakalorz took the reigns of HCB during a change of command ceremony Friday morning on McGlachlin Parade Field.

Barrett, who took command of the unit last June, is preparing to deploy to Afghanistan to serve with the Combined Security Transition Command. He was promoted to colonel by Garrison Commander Col. Edward C. Rothstein in a brief ceremony following the change of command.

"I am truly a blessed man," Barrett said. "It couldn't get a whole lot better."

During the ceremony, various units from Fort Meade stood on the parade field including Headquarters and Headquarters Company, the 241st Military Police Detachment with two K-9 teams, the Defense Information School, U.S. Signal Detachment School and the Marine Cryptologic Support Battalion.

HCB is tasked with enabling base-operations support to the installation, which includes nearly 95 organizations and more than 56,000 employees and residents.

"Leading Headquarters Battalion is a rather distinctive command opportunity," Rothstein said during the 30-minute ceremony. "The responsibilities go beyond commanding documents."

Rothstein began his remarks by highlighting Barrett's community service, focusing on his efforts with the schools on Fort Meade.

"I charged Colonel Barrett and his team to go after our schools in unprecedented ways," Rothstein said. "I didn't just want a partnership of paper, but bonds developed between our public schools on Fort Meade and our partners on post."

During his command of HCB, Barrett expected that everyone was cared for with little oversight -- a mission he successfully completed, Rothstein said.

In an emotional speech, Barrett thanked Rothstein, his family and his support team from the installation for helping him during his command.

"I don't want to leave this battalion," he said. "I will miss this place."

Barrett also welcomed Bakalorz to the unit.

"You're in for a wild ride," he said to Bakalorz.

Rothstein said the Army "got it right" in the selection of Bakalorz to lead HCB.

Bakalorz comes to Fort Meade after serving as the staff officer at the Office of the U.S. Army Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence at the Pentagon since 2009.

"I believe you're going to this job running and I look forward to the commitment and drive you will be bringing to the command and Team Meade," Rothstein said to Bakalorz.

Throughout her more than 20 years in the military, Bakalorz has served in various roles throughout the world.

Bakalorz, who reached the rank of sergeant after enlisting in 1988, graduated from Officer Candidate School four years later. Her career as an officer started as a platoon leader in the firing battery with 6th Battalion, 43rd Air Defense Artillery in Ansbach, Germany.

In 1993 she served in southeast Asia in support of Operation Desert Falcon as a tactical patrol officer and platoon leader with the 43rd Air Defense, and in 1996 as a security officer the 6th Battalion, 52nd Air Defense Artillery as the unit supported Operation Desert Vigilance.

In 1997, Bakalorz served as the security officer for the 1st Battalion, 43rd Air Defense Artillery in Suwon, Korea. The following year, she joined the 1st Cavalry Division in Fort Hood, Texas, and deployed to Bosnia-Herzegovina as intelligence chief of operations with the division.

Following her deployments, Bakalorz served in various roles within the 312th Military Intelligence Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division and at the Pentagon as an executive support officer to the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

After graduating in 2005 from the Navy War College in Newport, R.I., Bakalorz was assigned to the 10th Mountain Division in Fort Drum, N.Y., and was deployed to Afghanistan as a division planner as part of Combined Joint Task Force-76 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

In 2008, Bakalorz deployed to Iraq as commander of Task Force Vigilant, providing security at Victory Base Complex in Baghdad and then as division deputy of intelligence in Baghdad and Basra.

During her brief remarks, Bakalorz thanked Rothstein for the "honor and opportunity" to join Team Meade.

"I am truly honored to serve with all of you," she said to the service members on the parade field.

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