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Capt. Matthew W. Marshall receives the 217th Military Police Detachment colors from Col. Adam W. Butler, Fort Lee Garrison commander, during a change of command ceremony here Nov. 2. Marshall was preceded by Capt. Eric A. Ernest.

T. Anthony Bell

FORT LEE, Va. (Nov. 9, 2017) -- The 217th Military Police Detachment has welcomed a new Centurion in its ranks.

Capt. Matthew W. Marshall became the unit’s latest commander when he symbolically accepted the 217th’s guidon from Col. Adam W. Butler, Fort Lee Garrison commander, during a change of command ceremony Nov. 2 at the unit.

The Charlotte, N.C., native replaced Capt. Eric A. Ernest who had led the detachment since August 2016.

Butler, who serves as the unit’s higher headquarters commander, welcomed Marshall and his wife Nicole to the Fort Lee team during his remarks, pointing out the mantle of leadership is fraught with challenge.

“As you take charge of the mound, you will quickly feel the enormous weight of command responsibility,” he said, directly addressing the incoming commander, “but know you do so with our full trust and confidence in your abilities and your character.”

Marshall came here from Doha, Qatar, where he was deputy provost marshal of Area Support Group – Qatar.

During his remarks about Ernest, Butler said he is an impactful leader who is mission-focused on several fronts.

“When you think of Capt. Ernest, you think of an energetic, compassionate leader willing to do whatever it takes to ensure mission accomplishment while taking care of the welfare of his Soldiers,” he said. “His actions have inspired leadership and touched countless lives of Soldiers and family members on Fort Lee.”

Ernest, a native of Covington, Ky., thanked his wife, the garrison staff, the PMO and the many others who supported him during his tenure. In addition, speaking directly to Marshall, he took the time to mention by name the three detachment sergeants he counted on during his tenure as commander.

“Capt. Marshall,” said Ernest, “you have three great NCOs on ground here to help guide you, mentor you and build you as all three of them have made me a better officer and person and the unit greater as a whole.”

Ernest has been temporarily assigned to the PMO while he awaits a pending assignment.

The 217th MP Det. – nicknamed Centurions – has a personnel strength of more than 50 Soldiers who are deployable in support of missions worldwide.