COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina's top military officer has passed his command over the state's 11,000 soldiers and airmen to a new Adjutant General, Maj. Gen. Robert Livingston.
In a traditional passing of flags Sunday afternoon in Columbia, Maj. Gen. Stanhope Spears gave up his post at the head of South Carolina's Military Department and its Air and Army National Guards.
Spears was the longest-serving Adjutant General in the nation with 16 years.
Gov.-elect Nikki Haley presided over the change-of-command ceremony in Columbia.
The 73-year-old Spears has worn an Army uniform for 51 years.
Fifty-four-year-old Livingston was elected without opposition in November.
Livingston commanded the state's largest post-World War II deployment in 2007 when he led 1,800 soldiers from the Newberry-based 218th Brigade Combat Team to Afghanistan to help train local military units.