The capstone event of this week's Ranger Rendezvous took place today on Soldier's Field at the National Infantry Museum when Col. Richard D. Clarke relinquished command of the 75th Ranger Regiment to Col. Michael Kurilla.
Kurilla became the 16th colonel of the regiment during a formal yet at times emotional change of command ceremony that repeatedly honored members of the unit that were lost in combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Several Gold Star families -- or families that have lost a loved one in military service -- were in attendance for the 9 a.m. event, all of whom received a sustained round of applause during a speech given by guest of honor Brig. Gen. Raymond P. Palumbo, United States Army Special Operations Command commanding general.
Ranger Rendezvous is a week-long event that takes place once every two years to bring the entire regiment together in anticipation of the regimental change of command.
About 1,000 Army Rangers participated in a mass tactical airborne operation Monday which kicked off the event.
The days leading up to today's change of command ceremony were filled with Ranger demonstrations and events. Distinguished and honorary members of the 75th Ranger Regiment were recognized Tuesday for their contributions to the regiment at the National Infantry Museum. Wednesday brought a series of sporting events and a stress shoot, as well as the Ranger Hall of Fame induction ceremony at the RiverCenter for the Performing Arts.
For more on this story, please read Friday's Ledger-Enquirer or return later to ledger-enquirer.com.