COUNCIL BLUFFS — Sgt. Maj. Duane Hinman said goodbye Friday to the members of his family — all 220 of them.
"I feel like I'm leaving my family of 23 years," he said. "I'm leaving a bunch of good guys."
For the past five years, Hinman has been the command leader of the 1st Battalion, 168th Infantry of the Iowa National Guard stationed in Council Bluffs.
He saw lots of changes, from assisting victims of natural disasters to serving in combat zones in faraway places such as Afghanistan. Hinman served there twice, in 2004 and 2010.
He and his family are moving to Des Moines, where he will take a leadership position with the Iowa Ordnance Training Regiment.
Hinman was part of a change-of-command ceremony at the National Guard Armory on Kanesville Boulevard. It included the passing of the traditional sword of responsibility.
Hinman, who began his military career in 1985, was twice awarded the Bronze Star, among numerous commendations.
Sgt. 1st Class Nick Jedlicka recalled that after he was injured and brought home for treatment in 2010, Hinman stayed up late at night so he could call home to check on Jedlicka's recovery.
"For him to stay up late just to call, you went above and beyond," Jedlicka told Hinman.
Hinman is being replaced as commander by Sgt. Maj. Willie Adams, who is coming from another post in Des Moines.
"I'm very excited, yet nervous, because I have some big shoes to fill," said Adams, a native of Clarinda, Iowa.