SPRINGFIELD, IL (02/25/2015)(readMedia)-- SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -The Illinois National Guard's 129th Regional Training Institute (RTI) held a change of responsibility ceremony and a change of command ceremony for its Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment (HHD) Feb. 21, at the Illinois Military Academy at Camp Lincoln in Springfield, Illinois.

The RTI's mission is to train soldiers and leaders at all levels in multiple specialties, such as drivers, cooks and signal specialists.

A change of responsibility ceremony is held when the senior enlisted leader of a unit changes. A change of command ceremony is held when the commanding officer of a unit changes.

The change of responsibility was conducted first, with Command Sgt. Maj. Lester Edwards of Mechanicsburg, Illinois, relinquishing responsibility of the 129th RTI to Command Sgt. Maj. John Burns of Benld, Illinois.

The 129th RTI HHD change of command ceremony immediately followed with Capt. Dayton Loyd of Carbondale, Illinois, relinquishing command to 1st Lt. Anthony McClain of Springfield, Illinois.

Loyd, will move on to join the 244th Digital Liaison Detachment in Chicago, said the RTI was one of the most special units he served with in his 30 years of service.

"At first, I wasn't sure if I was up to the task - the RTI is a unique unit with a lot of high ranking individuals - but everyone embraced me right away and took care of me," said Loyd. "It really speaks to the quality of the unit."

Before taking command of the HHD, McClain served as the full-time plans and operations officer for domestics operations for the Illinois National Guard. He will serve as both the HHD commander and full-time training officer for the RTI.

"I'm very excited for the opportunity and I'm looking forward to fulfilling both of my roles for this stellar organization," said McClain.

Col. Paul Fanning of Chestnut, Illinois, commander of the 129th RTI, said the HHD is a great unit to command.

"Captain Loyd is getting promoted on his way out and Lieutenant McClain is a good lieutenant," said Fanning. "It's a lot of work, but this is a good unit and it will provide good seasoning for him."

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