Story by Steven Stover, 7805th Military Intelligence Brigade (Cyber)

 The 781st Military Intelligence Battalion (Cyber) Change of Command whereby Lieutenant Colonel Michael L. Arner (right) relinquished his command to Lieutenant Colonel Donald E. Sedivy (left) in a ceremony hosted by Colonel Matthew J. Lennox, commander of the 780th Military Intelligence Brigade (Cyber), on the McGlachlin Parade Field, June 24. Vanguard “When Others Cannot”

A new commander and command sergeant major for “Vanguard… When Others Cannot”

FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md. – Lt. Col. Michael L. Arner relinquished his command of the 781st Military Intelligence (MI) Battalion (Cyber) to Lt. Col. Donald E. Sedivy; and Command Sgt. Maj. Joseph P. Daniel assumed his responsibility as the battalion’s senior enlisted leader and ‘keeper of the colors’ in a ceremony on the Parade Field, June 24.

Although the Soldiers weathered the rain during the rehearsals the day prior and the temperature was sultry this morning… the sun shone bright just in time for today’s ceremony.

Soldiers and Civilians representing the Headquarters and Headquarters Company (Guardians), Alpha Company (Avengers), Bravo Company (Immortals), Charlie Company (Conquerors), Delta Company (Daemons), Echo Company (Eternals), and the Cyber Solutions Development Detachment were in formation for a change of command and assumption of responsibility ceremony rooted in military history – ceremonies that were recently on hiatus during the COVID pandemic.

“Considering the last few years, it is truly a blessing to hold this ceremony today outdoors,” said Col Matthew J. Lennox, commander of the 780th MI Brigade (Cyber) and host for the dual ceremonies. “Command Sergeant Major Daniel, first, welcome to the Vanguard; thanks to you and the team for spearheading the change of command and managing this hectic week. There is nothing more exciting than driving mission, working change over tasks, and preparing the brigade for a change of command and executing a battalion-level ceremony in one short week.”

Col. Lennox recognized the 781st MI Battalion as the oldest in the brigade – a brigade which just celebrated its tenth anniversary last December – and said as cyberspace operations have evolved, so has Vanguard, “the battalion has always lived up to its name and has led the Army in defining and executing cyberspace operations. The Vanguard Battalion has proven itself time and again to be America’s ‘Pioneers in cyberspace.’”

Speaking of Lt. Col. Arner, Lennox said he handled his job as both battalion commander and as a commander of a Cyber National Mission Force (CNMF) Task Force with “grace.”

“He accomplished much simply by being who he is as a leader – calm, empathetic, and willing to seek answers from all corners of the battalion,” said Col. Lennox.

Among his many accomplishments, Col. Lennox highlighted his leadership in bringing Soldiers back to work from the pandemic, “responsibly,” in time to support a surge in CNMF operations for the 2020 elections and more recently, in coordination with the CNMF staff, to push two Army task forces to operational readiness assessments – posturing the battalion to be ready to support the CNMF heading into this election season.

Lt. Col. Arner has served in the 780th MI Brigade for more than eight years: as the Operations Officer for 782d MI Battalion (Cyber), Fort Gordon, Georgia; moving to Hawaii and establishing Detachment Hawaii, and serving as its Detachment Commander and 504 Combat Mission Team Lead; moving to Fort Meade and serving as the Brigade Operations Officer (S-3) and Deputy Commander, and now relinquishing his command of the 781st MI Battalion. Lt. Col. Arner’s next assignment is at the Naval War College in Rhode Island.

Eschewing long speeches, Lt. Col. Arner thanked everyone he served with from his Soldiers to Civilians, past and present, in the Battalion and Brigade, as well as his Family.

“I am humbled for the opportunity I was given to lead the battalion and serve alongside each of you.”

He then talked about his “not exciting” duties supporting those who do “exciting” things every day in defense of this nation.

“When I look at this Battalion and what is does every day ‘it’s very exciting,’” said Arner. “Most of what you do will never be spoken of to Family and friends, most of what you do will never be in the news, it is what this battalion does as part of the Cyber National Mission Force that is exciting.”

Lt. Col. Sedivy comes to the 781st MI Battalion and 780th MI Brigade after serving as a Team Leader for 152 Cyber Protection Team and the Battalion Executive Officer for 2nd Cyber Battalion within the U.S. Army Cyber Protection Brigade (CPB); Battalion Operations Officer (S3) for the 915th Cyber Warfare Battalion; and his most recent assignment as the Brigade Operations Officer (S3) for the CPB.

In keeping with tradition, Lt. Col. Sedivy’s remarks were short; however, among others he did recognize Lt. Col. Arner.

“Mike, thank you for a world-class reception and onboarding into the Vanguard,” said Sedivy. “The work you have led over the last two years has set the foundation for the sustainment and continued growth of offensive cyberspace operations in defense of this nation.”

“When Others Cannot, Vanguard 6 entering the net.”