ISHPEMING - The 107th Engineer Battalion changed command on Saturday during a ceremony held in the gymnasium at the National Guard Armory in Ishpeming.
Outgoing Lt. Col. Bud DeGrote passed the command to incoming Lt. Col. Peter Hill.
DeGrote, of Lowell, was assigned to the unit in 2001 and became commander in October 2005. Change of command is a regular occurrence, happening every few years.
Gen. Jerry Cannon passes the 107th Engineer Battalion flag to incoming Lt. Col. Peter Hill during the changing of command ceremony of the National Guard Armory in Ishpeming on Saturday afternoon. (Journal photo by Julia Woehrer)
An Army helicopter lands on the lawn of the National Guard Armory in Ishpeming on Saturday afternoon. The helicopter transported four National Guard members, including Gen. Jerry Cannon, to the armory for the changing of command of the 107th Engineer Battalion. (Journal photo by Julia Woehrer)
Hill, originally from Iron Mountain, lives in Plainwell, Mich. and is a technician at Fort Custer training center, where he will continue working full-time during the week. Hill discussed taking the position, which requires him to travel to the Upper Peninsula on drill weekends, with his wife Victoria and his children Rebekah and Nathan.
"Both kids didn't hesitate at all when I asked what they thought," Hill said.
Hill graduated from Michigan Technological University and completed Army ROTC training in 1984. His military career has included active duty in Germany and at Fort Riley, Kansas. He also had a previous guard assignment with the 107th.
Moments before receiving command of the unit, Hall said he was excited about his new position.
"Command is always a challenging position, no matter where you are. But, that's good. It's supposed to be; there's nothing else that really compares to it," Hill said.
Hill said he plans to take a proactive approach to running the 107th, meeting with soldiers to make improvements.
"In the Army, working with soldiers is the best job there is," he said.