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Governor Wolf Attends Adjutant General of Pennsylvania Change of Responsibility Ceremony

February 09, 2015

Harrisburg, PA – Surrounded by members of the Pennsylvania National Guard, Governor Tom Wolf today served as the presiding official for the Pennsylvania Change of Responsibility Ceremony from Maj. Gen. Wesley E. Craig, the 51st adjutant general, to Maj. Gen. James R. Joseph, the 52nd adjutant general.

“I am thankful to Major General Craig for his service, and I am excited for what lies ahead for the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs under Major General Joseph’s leadership,” said Governor Tom Wolf. “General Joseph shares my vision that if Pennsylvania is going to be a safe and prosperous state, we must work to support the members of the Pennsylvania National Guard, as well as provide greater opportunity for our veterans. I am confident that General Joseph will ably serve the Commonwealth in times of peace and emergency.”

The Change of Command Ceremony is rooted in military history dating back to the 18th Century during the reign of Frederick the Great of Prussia. At that time, organizational flags were developed with color arrangements and symbols unique to each particular unit. To this flag and its commander, the Soldiers of the unit would dedicate their loyalty and trust. When a change of command was to take place, the flag was passed to the individual assuming the command. This gesture was accomplished in front of the unit so that all could see and witness their new leader assuming the command position.  He who held the flag also held the Soldier’s allegiance. This symbolic tradition has survived throughout military history.

“To Pennsylvania’s service members, I vow not to waiver in my commitment to serve past, present, or future generations of service members with unbridled dedication and stalwart loyalty,” said Joseph. ”To Pennsylvania’s veterans, I commit to you that I will ensure the services to which you are entitled will be provided to you with the highest degree of dignity, efficiency and timeliness that you have earned and deserve.”

Gov. Wolf named Gen. Joseph to head up the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. He will serve as the acting adjutant general until confirmed by the Senate.

For more information about DMVA visit www.dmva.state.pa.us or follow DMVA on Facebook at www.facebook.com/padmva. For more information about the PNG visit www.pa.ng.mil or follow the PNG on Facebook at www.facebook.com/panationalguard.

Media contact: Jeff Sheridan, Governor’s Office, office 717-783-1116
Joan Nissley, DMVA, office 717-861-8720
MAJ Ed Shank, PA National Guard, office 717-861-8468

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