FORT BENNING, Ga. (WRBL) – The Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC) had its change of command ceremony on Thursday. Col. John D. Suggs Jr. completed his three-year tour and now Col. Michael Rogowski will take over as commandant of WHINSEC. 

“I’m super confident in WHINSEC and I know it’s going to be fine going forward. It doesn’t matter going forward, it’s the people that work here that make it great,” said Col. Suggs. 

Col. Suggs became commandant in June of 2019 and spent much of his tenure navigating WHINSEC through the COVID-19 pandemic that required many classes to go online. He was recognized for his efforts by Maj. Gen. Patrick Donahoe. 

He is headed to the United States Southern Command to continue his service. 

The traditional change of command service was held in front of several members from WHINSEC to signify the new leader that will be guiding them for the next three years. 

WHINSEC trains soldiers from 17 Latin American countries in security assistance and security cooperation. The school that is located on Fort Benning focuses on the importance of human rights and professional leadership. Soldiers from many countries like Colombia and Brazil arrive in different tours to learn security skills that they take back to their country. 

Col. Rogowski has been serving in the Army since the late 1990’s and has visited Fort Benning multiple times during his service prior to assuming command on Thursday. 

“The most important goal is to maintain the great work that Col. Suggs and Sgt. Maj. Lopez have done here at WHINSEC. Also, ensure that this institute is known in the Army as a provider of readiness in helping the Army get ready for its future operations. While maintaining its original mission of assisting security cooperation efforts throughout the hemisphere,” said Col. Rogowski.