BOISE - For the first time in seven years, the Idaho National Guard has a new commanding general.

Gov. Butch Otter and members of the Guard gathered at Gowen Field on Sunday for a change of command ceremony.

It was a chance to thank outgoing commander Maj. Gen. Gary Saylor for his 45 years of service, while also welcoming new commander, Brig. Gen. Michael Garshak.

"It's a bittersweet event for us here, saying goodbye to one of the best commanding generals we've ever had," Guard spokesman Maj. Christopher Borders said. "But we're saying welcome to [Garshak] who brings a tremendous amount of experience."

A combat veteran, 52-year-old Garshak is an Apache helicopter pilot by trade.

Saylor said he is looking forward to spending some quality time with his family.