206023-A-ZN169-351.jpgFrom left: Col. Michael Tigue, former Adjutant General School commandant, Col. Steven Aiton, Soldier Support Institute commander, and Col. Marcus Motley, AG school commandant prepare to pass the virtual guidon during a change of command ceremony June 23 in the SSI Auditorium. The guidon was not passed in the ceremony due to COVID-19 concerns (Photo by Robert Timmons)

By Alexandra Shea

Fort Jackson Leader

The U.S. Army Adjutant General School welcomed Col. Marcus A. Motley as the 34th commandant of the Adjutant General School, chief of the Adjutant General Corps and chief of Army Bands during the small change of command ceremony was held at the Soldiers Support Institute auditorium June 23.

The ceremony was attended by immediate Family members and support staff to encourage social distancing. The ceremony was live streamed for extended Family members, staff and students to watch to help halt the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

The school’s Command Sgt. Maj. Robert H. Atkinson Jr., presented the regimental “colors” typically passed from the outgoing to incoming commandants to represent the official passing and acceptance of duties. To maintain health and safety guidelines, Atkinson safeguarded the colors throughout the ceremony.

“The traditional passing of the colors will be recognized in the absence of the physical transfer of the colors,” the ceremony’s narrator said.

As Col. Michael T. McTigue recognized Atkinson and the colors, he relinquished his roles and responsibilities to Motley. As both took their seats, commander of the Soldier Support Institute Col. Stephen K. Aiton took the podium to give his remarks.

“Our commandants are charged with change and not just driving it, making it lasting. Change has never been so important than in the last two years in the AG Corps,” Aiton said. “Col. Mike McTigue has been exactly the right leader to make change happen. He leaves behind a wealth of talent that will serve Col. Motely well.”

As Aiton concluded his remarks, he thanked McTigue for his hard work and dedication to the school and his Family for their support during his time as commandant.

Next to take the podium was McTigue to give his farewell remarks to the school and corps he has served since July 2018.

“It was an honor for me to lead the fine Soldiers and civilians of the Adjutant General School,” McTigue said. “Your support of our efforts over the past few years have allowed us to move forward on numerous efforts under the sustainment umbrella, we are better united, so thank you.”

McTigue also thanked the mentorship, leadership and friendship freely given to him the past two years by his various leadership and staff. He explained how his roles were more demanding of him than previously thought and expressed his gratitude for the support he received while performing in his roles and responsibilities.

“The people in this school rose to whatever challenges we faced and we overcame it together,” McTigue said. “The corps got stronger all while graduating the thousands of professionals that transited our courses. I applaud the officers, non-commissioned officers, Soldiers, civilians and contractors of our organization for what they do every day to accomplish the diverse missions we are assigned. You are true professionals.”

Last to take the podium was Motley who gave his first official address as the 34th commandant of the AG school.

“I’m tremendously humbled at this opportunity,” Motley said. “I look forward to what’s ahead. Let’s get after it. Defend and serve.”

As the ceremony came to a close, the Army song was played and the leadership team moved outside where masks were donned to welcome and bid farewell to McTigue and Motley.