The Georgia Army National Guard's 48th Brigade held a ceremony Sunday to hand over the chain of command.
Colonel John King served as commander for almost 30 years and is passing the torch to Lieutenant Colonel Major Randall Simmons.
King started as a private and rose to the ranks of Colonel and Brigade Commander.
His next plans are to be the director of the joint staff of the Air Force, Army and National Guard in Atlanta.
Simmons will take over the role of Commander.
"It was a surprise," Simmons recalls. "One morning, our Commanding General called me into his office; I thought it was about routine business. He said, 'Just want you to know, you're going to be the man.' He said, 'The 48th Brigade, it's yours.' That was three months ago."
He has been with the brigade for most of his 21 years of service.
Command Sergeant Major Shawn Lewis will be filling the shoes of Command Sergeant Major Joey Recker who is retiring this year.
Simmons says he plans to get the brigade ready to deploy to Afghanistan by the end of the year.