The Fort Jackson Adjutant General School’s colors are passed from Col. Cort J. Hurt, Soldier Support Institute commander, to Col. Chesley D. Thigpen as he is charged with becoming the 36th commandant of the Fort Jackson Adjutant General School July 7, 2022. Thigpen is replacing Col. Marcus A. Motley as the commandant as Motley joins the Army Human Resources Command in Fort Knox, Ky. (Photo Credit: Alexandra Shea)

Adjutant General School welcomes 36th commandant

By Alexandra Shea, Fort Jackson Public Affairs

Soldiers, cadre, instructors, civilians and their Families welcomed the U.S. Army Adjutant General School’s 36th Commandant and 23rd Chief of the Adjutant General Corps Col. Chesley D. Thigpen during a change of commandant ceremony in the Soldier Support Institute’s auditorium July 7, 2022.

Col. Marcus A. Motley, the 35th Adjutant General School commandant and 22nd Chief of the Adjutant General Corps, relinquished his responsibilities as he passed the school’s colors to Col. Cort J. Hunt, Soldier Support Institute commander.

“We pass the colors from one great commandant to another,” Hunt said. “The proponent commandant wears three hats: chief of the corps, commandant of the school and the Chief of Army music. I’ve been in the Army for 27 years, one thing I know for sure is how hard the business of being the proponent commandant can be.”

Not leaving the school and corps without a leader, Hunt passed the colors to Thigpen, charging him with commandant and chief’s duties and responsibilities.

“Change has never been more important to our Army and for the AG Corps than it has in the past two years,” Hunt said. “Col. Marcus Motley has been exactly the right leader to make change happen and that is exactly what he and his team has done consistently over his tenure. He leaves behind a wealth of talents that will serve (Thigpen) very well.”

Hunt highlighted three of Motley’s greatest achievements while commandant to include structure changes where Motley assessed the gaps in G1 and help resolve them, renewed education and engagement of human resources support doctrinally, and postal where Motley and his team updated and published Field Manual 1-0: Human Resources Support.

“Marcus leaves this capable team in the hands of Thigpen and his wife Andrea,” Hunt continued. “Talent management is important and Chesley is absolutely the right officer to lead the Adjutant General School and maintain the momentum left behind by Marcus.”

“I don’t know what Col. Hunt was talking about. I was just a face on the wall,” Motley said. “It was you who did all those things he gave me credit for, I just steered the ship. You are the doctrine, the organization, the material ... you support and enable the readiness of individuals and organization.”

Motley took the time to thank the people across the many areas that encompasses the school and corps that support the ready force across the Army.

“It is you that makes force ready and the corps great,” Motley said in closing. “Thank you all, I appreciate you. I leave here in awe of you and humbled to have served alongside of you. Defend and Serve.”

Motley left the podium and his last address to his team as commandant to a round of applause. Thigpen stopped to shake his hand as he approached the podium.

“It’s hard to follow that up,” Thigpen started. “Marcus, Motley, I promise and commit to you that I plan and hope to build on the momentum that you created over the last two years. We will continue to see that success and build that legacy.”

“I am humbled by this opportunity to serve as the chief of the Adjutant General Corps and commandant of the Adjutant General School. I look forward to the challenges ahead as we train and develop adaptive Adjutant General Soldiers. Focusing on how we prepare our corps to support the operational force and enable the future fight,” Thigpen said. “I promise you that I’m here to join the team to make it happen. I’m proud to be on the Adjutant General team as your new commandant. Defend and Serve.”

The playing of the Army Song and departure of the official party closed the ceremony. Guests lined up through the auditorium to bid farewell to Motley and shake hands with Thigpen and his wife in welcome.

Motley and his Family will move to Fort Knox, Kentucky as he joins the Army Human Resources Command.