During the ceremony, the unit guidon was passed to Branson to symbolize the transfer of authority and responsibility.
"I've never been so proud to take a command," Branson told the Soldiers of the 880th Engineer Team. "You are one of the best units in the battalion."
Branson's new Soldiers and staff look forward to working with their new commander, said Sgt. 1st Class Andrew Moore, readiness noncommissioned officer for the unit.
"First Lt. Branson is well-liked by the unit and he comes to us with fresh ideas and motivation," said Moore. "We are honored to be serving in his command and look forward to working with him over the next couple of years."
Branson's dedication and hard work as a young officer will be a great asset to the company, said Maj. Craig Gatzemeyer, administrator officer for the 1140th Engineer Battalion.
"We look for good, high-speed officers when filling commands," said Gatzemeyer. "The unit is getting a fine officer in 1st Lt. Branson. I have no doubt he will do great things and the unit will continue to raise the bar."
Branson said he is ready to face the challenges and expectations as a new commander, and was particularly impressed with how well the Soldiers get their missions accomplished and live up to the company motto.
"You work hard and play hard, and that's my philosophy too." Branson told the Soldiers. "This is a great unit, you are great Soldiers and together we will push the standards. I look forward to working with you."
Branson has served in the Missouri National Guard since 2005. He is supported in his military career by his wife, Amber, and his parents, Roger and Edith Branson. He is a teacher at McCluer North High School in Florissant, Mo.
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