FORT BELVOIR, Va. — Lt. Col. Matthew Wear assumed command of the Virginia National Guard’s Fairfax-based Data Processing Unit from Lt. Col. Randall Cudworth in a change of command ceremony held Nov. 18th at Fort Belvoir. Col. Edward Morgan, commander of the Information Operations Support Center, presided over the guidon exchange that signified the change of command.
“The DPU has much to be thankful for, the continued and outstanding service of two proficient and talented leaders, and the great support of their families,” said Morgan.
The custom of acknowledging a change in command of officers of a military unit is a formal ceremony and dates back to pre-Roman times. The ceremony emphasizes the continuity of leadership and unit identity, despite changes in individual authority, and symbolizes the transfer of command responsibility from one individual to another. This transfer is physically represented by passing the guidon, the tangible symbol of the unit, from the outgoing commander to the next senior commander to the new commander.
A native of Wheeling, W.Va., Wear is a graduate of Marshall University with a bachelor’s degree in accounting.
Some challenges the new commander will face as the commander of the DPU include the dynamic cyber threat, improving the integration of the DPU’s cyber capabilities into the current operational environment, and planning for future operations, among others.
“I’ve been associated with the DPU in different capacities for over 10 years as the unit has evolved to meet the challenges and new requirements of cyber operations. I’m looking forward to my time in command, as my greatest opportunity to continue her drive to the forefront of the Army cyber community,” said Wear.
The DPU is a unique unit comprised of approximately 160 Soldiers. The unit was originally designated the 123rd DPU when it was established in January 1975. The DPU’s original mission was to provide data processing support to the National Guard Bureau Computer Center. During the 1980s the 123rd DPU supported an NGB initiative to field multiprocessor UNIX servers to all 54 states and territories. Shortly after Operation Desert Storm, the 123rd DPU was re-designated the Virginia Data Processing Unit.
The DPU adapted to the changing IT environment by disbanding mainframe support teams and forming computer desktop support teams that provided support both during the weekends and during annual training. Since 2001, the DPU’s mission has expanded far beyond NGB, acquiring an Information Operations mission, a Computer Emergency Response Team mission, and an Army Web Risk Assessment mission.
The unit provides direct, and indirect, support to the Commonwealth of Virginia, and to a variety of Department of Defense organizations to include United States Army Cyber Command, the U.S. Army 1st Information Operations Command, Strategic Command, United States Army Network Enterprise Technology Command, and the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, and continued support to the National Guard Bureau.
Soldiers from the DPU have been actively conducting real-time missions for the duration of the unit’s history in the U.S. and overseas, most recently in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. Currently, 40 percent of the DPU is deployed on active missions in support of various organizations.
“Commanding the DPU was an honor, and a privilege. I am thankful for the opportunity to help advance the unit and our Soldiers in this incredibly complex, and changing environment,” said Cudworth.
A native of Moosic, Pa., Cudworth is a graduate of the Scranton University with a bachelor’s degree in computer science. He holds a master’s degree in information assurance from Capitol College.
Story by By Capt. Scott Campbell, Data Processing Unit Public Affairs, firstname.lastname@example.org