KANSAS CITY, Mo. - In a historic military tradition, command of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Kansas City District transferred today from Col. Andrew D. Sexton to Col. Douglas B. Guttormsen.
In a ceremony at the National World War I Museum and Memorial in Kansas City, Mo., Guttormsen received the traditional guidon from Sexton thus assuming command of the district.
“I’m honored and humbled by the opportunity to join the Kansas City District,” said Guttormsen. “The district has a tremendous reputation and I’m looking forward to serving with the team. The Corps of Engineers is a great place to work. It’s got great people doing meaningful work and I’m looking forward to being a part of it here in Kansas City.”
Historically, the guidon flag is a standard that serves as a unit marker. The change of command ceremony offers subordinates the opportunity to see the formality of the transfer of authority from one officer to another as a means of preserving the continuity of command and authority. Typically, the ceremonies are formal and dignified. The tradition dates back to the Middle Ages.
Sexton assumed command of the Kansas City District July 19, 2013. Before the change of command ceremony, Sexton received the Silver de Fleury Medal and Legion of Merit Medal in recognition of his leadership to the district and distinguished Army career. Sexton now retires from the U.S. Army with 32 years of service to his country.
“An Army career is a wonderful experience and I will be forever grateful for the experience the Army has offered me,” said Sexton during remarks at the ceremony. “Kansas City District and the people who make up this district will always have a special place in my heart. It’s been an honor to serve the nation as an Army engineer and it has been a privilege to serve alongside the dedicated professionals of the Kansas City District.”
Guttormsen comes to the district from his most recent assignment as Chief Engineer at Arlington National Cemetery. A graduate of the U.S. Military Academy, Guttormsen is a native of New Jersey.
Guttormsen served in a variety of command and staff positions to include serving as a strategic planner at the USACE Headquarters; Division Engineer for the 25th Infantry Division at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii; Commander and District Engineer for the USACE Honolulu District; and Brigade Operations Officer for the 130th Engineer Brigade in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.
Guttormsen’s responsibilities include executing civil works, military construction, cleanup of hazardous, toxic and radiation waste, and emergency response programs, and oversight of about 900 employees.
“I expect us to continue to deliver on our commitments to our supported commands, customers and stakeholders, take care of our world class workforce, and be ready for future contingencies,” said Guttormsen. “Command is the greatest responsibility a Soldier can hope for and it is something that I don’t take lightly. “