A new leader takes command of CE

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- The 460th Civil Engineer Squadron will receive a new commander during an assumption of command ceremony set for March 1 at 9 a.m. in Fellowship Hall in the Chapel.

Col. Steven Muhs, 460th Mission Support Group commander, will preside over the ceremony.

Lt. Col. James Zemotel will take the reigns of the 460th CES. He comes to Buckley from Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., and the U.S. Strategic Command where he served as the Infrastructure and Global Capability Assessment Branch chief, Logistics Directorate, Logistics and Sustainment Division. He also served as a crewmember aboard an E-4B aircraft at the National Airborne Operations Center also at Offutt.

Colonel Zemotel received his Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering from the University of Arkansas in 1989. He attended Squadron Officer School at Maxwell AFB, Ala., in 1995. He received his Master of Science degree in Management and Organizational Leadership from the Colorado Technical University in Colorado Springs, Colo., in 1998. He attended the Air Command and Staff College by correspondence in 2002 and in residence in 2004. Currently he is enrolled in the Air War College via correspondence and is 80 percent complete.

He began his 18 year career at Altus AFB, Okla., in September 1989.

The assumption of command is a military formation deeply rooted in history and tradition dating back to the time of Frederick the Great of Prussia. In that period, military organizations developed flags with unique and specialized colors and designs. When the soldiers followed their leaders into battle, they kept sight of their flag. If the banner still waved after the conflict, it was a sign that their side had not tasted defeat on the field of battle. Having this position of great importance, the flag was incorporated into the ancient assumption of command ceremonies. The organizational banner was exchanged in public for all to see that he who holds the flag is the unchallenged and sovereign leader of the armies.

The modern-day ceremony is principally symbolic; yet, it still announces to all the authority of the incoming commander in the finest military tradition.