Brigadier General Bruce T. Crawford officially assumed command of the Army Communications-Electronics Command and of Aberdeen Proving Ground on Tuesday during a 10 a.m. ceremony at the post's C4ISR Center of Excellence Campus.
Gen. Dennis L. Via, commanding general of the Army Materiel Command, presided over the ceremony and welcomed Crawford to the AMC family. Both generals greeted the more than 400 soldiers, dignitaries, employees and assembled guests.
"Brig. Gen. Crawford knows communications, he knows the warfighter and he is well respected within the Army's Signal community and the Joint C4 [command, control, communications, computers] community," Via said. "He knows how to lead large, complex global organizations and he knows how to take care of Soldiers and civilians in the process. The men and women of CECOM are very fortunate to have Brig. Gen. Crawford take the reins of this great command today."
Crawford said he considers CECOM one of the "Army's crown jewels" and "one of the Army's most historic, most innovative and most strategically promising military communities."
To the 13,000 men and women in his new command, he offered his leadership philosophy: "When it comes to leadership, I'm a firm believer that there is no replacement for a steady hand, a silent tongue and a tentative ear; especially during times of crisis or evolutionary change.
Crawford becomes the 14th commander of CECOM, one of the major tenant agencies at Aberdeen Proving Ground.
A native of Columbia, S.C., Crawford has 28 years of military service in a variety of leadership positions at tactical, operational and strategic levels, the Army said in a news release.
He assumes command at CECOM after his most recent post of J6, Director of C4/Cyber and Chief Information Officer, U. S. European Command. Prior to that, he served as the Commanding General, 5th Theater Signal Command, and G6, United States Army Europe in Weisbaden, Germany
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Crawford was commissioned after graduating as a Distinguished Military Graduate with a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering through South Carolina State University's Reserve Officer Training Corps program. He holds a master of science degree in administration from Central Michigan University and a master of science degree in national resource strategy from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces.
His other command assignments include the 516th Signal Brigade, Fort Shafter, Hawaii; 82nd Signal Battalion, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C. and Operation Iraqi Freedom, Iraq; and B Company, 51st Signal Battalion, 35th Signal Brigade, XVIII Airborne Corps, Fort Bragg, N.C. His key staff assignments include Director, Chief of Staff of the Army, Coordination Group, Office of the Chief of Staff, U.S. Army, Washington, D.C.; Division Chief, LandWarNet Integration Division, Chief Information Office, G-6, Pentagon, Washington, D.C.; Branch Chief, Net Centric Assessments and Analysis Branch, later Executive Assistant to the J-6, the Joint Staff, Washington D.C.; and Assistant Operations Officer, later Corps Emergency Deployment Readiness Officer, 35th Signal Brigade, XVIII Airborne Corps, Fort Bragg, N.C., and Operations Desert Shield/Storm, Saudi Arabia.
Crawford's awards and decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal; the Legion of Merit; the Bronze Star Medal; the Defense Meritorious Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster; the Meritorious Service Medal with four Oak Leaf Clusters; the Army Commendation Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster; the Army Achievement Medal with four Oak Leaf Clusters. Brig. Gen. Crawford is authorized to wear the Combat Action Badge, the Master Parachutist Badge, the Ranger Tab, the Joint Chiefs of Staff Identification Badge and the Army Staff Identification Badge.
Crawford and his wife, Dianne, have two sons, 2nd Lt. Bruce T. Crawford Jr. and Corey Alston Crawford.
Crawford assumes the senior command position vacant since Major General Robert S. Ferrell was promoted and reassigned in December.
Ferrell, who was promoted to lieutenant general, is assigned to the Pentagon, where he is the Army's chief information officer. He became the commander of CECOM in February 2012. From his frequent appearances at various Harford County business, education and community functions, Ferrell became the face of APG during his command.
When he left APG in December, Ferrell was lauded for his cooperation by a number of county leaders.