LANSING, MICH. —The Taylor-based Michigan Army National Guard, 177th Military Police Brigade will hold a change-of-command ceremony at the Taylor Armory Saturday, December 6 at 1 p.m. Incoming commander, Lt. Col. Phillip Burton will accept the colors from Col. Stephen Potter, who will transition to his new role as the Commander for the Operation Onward Liberty team to Liberia for the Michigan Army National Guard.
The presiding officer for the ceremony will be Maj. Gen. Gregory Vadnais, the adjutant general of the Michigan National Guard and the director of the Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.
“Lt. Col. Burton has held a diverse array of military assignments and has deployed in support of various contingencies,” said Vadnais. “As a seasoned Soldier, he is prepared to lead the men and women assigned to the 177th Military Police Brigade. Col. Potter leaves the 177th in capable hands and brings a valuable combination of communication and leadership skills to OOL that will certainly benefit the Liberian partnership. The transition is a win in many, many ways,” Vadnais added.
Burton is a graduate of the Infantry Basic Course, Armor Advanced Course and the U.S. Army Command General Staff College. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Detroit. Some of Burton’s awards include the Bronze Star and Meritorious Service Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters.
The 177th Military Police Brigade has been in Taylor since 1991 and will continue occupation of the armory along with the Michigan Army National Guard 210th MP Battalion, the 1776th MP Company, and Company B, Recruiting and Retention Battalion. The 177th MP Brigade Headquarters mobilized to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba from Feb. to Dec. 2013. The whole brigade deployed to Iraq from July 2007 to April 2008 and also served in Guantanamo Bay for 11 months beginning in July 2003.