WEST FORT HOOD — Operational Test Command held a change of command ceremony at its headquarters at West Fort Hood on Thursday to welcome its 28th commander, Brig. Gen. William “Hank” Taylor.

The unit made up close to 500 soldiers and civilians is the Army’s only independent operational tester responsible for testing joint and multi-service warfighting systems.

Taylor, who most recently served as a 1st Cavalry Division deputy commander, replaces Brig. Gen. John C. Ulrich, as the OTC commander.

Ulrich, who arrived at OTC in July 2016, is heading to the Pentagon, where he will serve as the Army’s director of force development.

Under Ulrich’s tenure, the command conducted 95 tests on Army equipment and vehicles, received the Net Zero Waste award, and was recognized by Fort Hood’s Adopt-A-School Program for hundreds of volunteer hours put into the program.

“I am extremely proud to have been part of an extraordinary team,” Ulrich said during the ceremony.

He told Taylor: “I have no doubt you’ll value your time at operational test command. I’m excited for the journey you’ll have at OTC.”

Taylor also expressed his enthusiasm for his new position.

“This transition has been incredibly professional. I stand here humbled,” Taylor said.

Taylor began his career as an enlisted field artillery soldier and was commissioned as second lieutenant in the infantry in 1990. He has held command positions in infantry, combat aviation, and airborne divisions and has served four operational assignments in Afghanistan and two in Iraq. His awards include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Valorous Unit Award and Combat Action Badge.

The change of command ceremony also welcomed Sgt. Maj. Danny Boivin, who is the interim command sergeant major. He replaced Command Sgt. Maj. Mario O. Terenas as the unit’s top enlisted soldier. Terenas is heading to a new assignment at Fort Knox.

Guests at the ceremony included Harker Heights Mayor Spencer H. Smith and Copperas Cove Mayor Frank Seffrood.

Maj. Gen. Joel K. Tyler, commander of OTC’s higher headquarters, the U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, presided over the ceremony.

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