HEIDELBERG, Germany — The Installation Management Agency-Europe held its first change of responsibility ceremony when authority passed from Command Sgt. Maj. Teresa V. King to Command Sgt. Maj. John M. Gaines.

King, who is retiring after 30 years, took on the challenge of helping to establish a new agency in 2003, shortly after IMA stood up in October 2002.

IMA-E is responsible for all facets of support for soldiers and their families in Europe, from drivers’ licenses and infrastructure to child care and force protection.

At Monday’s ceremony on Campbell Barracks in Heidelberg, a ceremonial sword was transferred from King to Gaines, who previously served as the command sergeant major for U.S. Army Garrison Benelux.

In turn, King received the Legion of Merit, a folded American flag and a letter from President Bush.

A couple of dozen soldiers and civilians from USAG Benelux made the five-hour trip from Chievres, Belgium, to lend moral support to Gaines, a 25-year veteran of the Army.

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