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NEWS | April 15, 2024

D.C. Army National Guard Marks Change in Leadership for Land Component

By Sgt. 1st Class Erica Jaros D.C. National Guard

U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Leland L. Blanchard II relinquished command of the District of Columbia Army National Guard’s Land Component Command to Brig. Gen. Craig M. Maceri during a change of command ceremony April 13 at the D.C. Armory.

The ceremony, steeped in military tradition and protocol, featured the traditional passing of the unit colors symbolizing the transfer of authority from one commander to another to guide soldiers through future challenges and missions.

Maj. Gen. John C. Andonie, Commanding General of the D.C. National Guard, presided over the ceremony and commended both Blanchard and Maceri for their leadership and dedication to duty.

"There is a strong legacy of commitment, courage, and technical skill in the Land Component, and I want that to continue into the future. [Blanchard] has done an excellent job in re-instilling the Army Ethos into the Land Component," said Andonie. "[Maceri] brings an incredible level of expertise to our organization and I know he will continue the work of brigadier general Blanchard to build readiness for the future."

Blanchard, who served as the commanding officer of the Land Component Command since November 2022, reflected on the unit's accomplishments under his tenure and expressed gratitude to the soldiers for their dedication and commitment to duty.

"It has truly been an honor to join the lineage of Soldiers who have served in the District of Columbia Army National Guard. Over the past 530 days together we have spent a lot of time working to build readiness across the LCC," he said. "Readiness to meet our mission, that mission is to deploy, fight, and win our Nation’s wars. The readiness built to accomplish that mission enables us to respond to our community’s needs when called upon."

Blanchard’s next assignment will continue his work serving Soldiers as the Adjutant General for the D.C. National Guard.

As Maceri assumed command of the unit, he acknowledged the responsibility entrusted to him and pledged to uphold the unit's standards of excellence while leading with integrity and vision.

"I assure you that I will always strive to live and lead by the Army Values and to use the principles of servant leadership throughout this command," he said. " Some of you have heard me speak about my command philosophy. It is based on the tenets of integrity, respect, discipline, teamwork, and mission focus. Those are not just words, but will be the principles on which we need to live by in order to take this organization to the next."

The change of command ceremony serves as a poignant reminder of the ongoing commitment of the D.C. Army National Guard Land Component Command to fulfill its mission of safeguarding the nation's capital and supporting domestic and overseas operations.

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