Updated 08/30/2012 05:16 PM
New Commander Appointed in Change of Command Ceremony
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It's a ceremony rich in military tradition; the Change of Command where Captain Joseph Cosci turned over the reins of the Rochester Recruiting Company to Captain Edwin Melendez.
The incoming Commander calls his new assignment a dream come true.
"When I came in as a Private, I was always looking forward to improving myself and grow through the military ranks and the military has provided that to me all these years. It's amazing looking back 17 years from a Private, now I'm here leading troops as a Company Commander is an awesome feeling, it's unbelievable," Melendez said.
Captain Cosci leaves after two years commanding the Rochester Company. The next chapter of his military career begins in January, when he attends the Force Management Qualification Course at the Army Force Management School in Virginia. Cosci was honored for his work in making Rochester a model for Army recruiting.
"The ones that come in, the vast majority of them, are great kids, they have the character traits and the abilities that the country needs. Serving in the Army is almost above me. I'm privileged, it's a privilege to put on the uniform and I'm just happy to be a soldier," said Cosci.
The new Commander has some big shoes to fill. Under Captain Cosci's leadership, the Rochester Recruiting Company brought in 540 active Army members and another 150 Reservists.
With all combat troops now out of Iraq and the mission in Afghanistan about to wind down, Melendez will be faced with a new era in Army recruiting.
"It's going to be challenging, it's a challenging job. You're going to have to come up with new ideas, find new ways to fill the gap," Melendez said. "We're always looking for young American citizens that want to volunteer to serve our country and my job is to go and find those awesome citizens that want to serve their country."
Melendez says he and his family feel comfortable in Rochester and his six-year-old daughter is ready for the school year. Natives of Puerto Rico, they're looking forward to seeing their first snowfall this winter.