New England gets new Army Corps of Engineers chief

Posted July 29, 2011, at 5:13 p.m.

BOSTON — The New England District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has a new commander.

Col. Tom Feir on Friday passed the command flag to his successor, Col. Charles Samaris, during a change-of-command ceremony at the historic Faneuil Hall in Boston.

Feir served as commander for more than three years. Samaris is a Methuen native whose most recent assignment was as the senior service college fellow in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Security Studies Program.

Samaris previously served six months in the Persian Gulf during the first war against Saddam Hussein. He also served in Iraq during the second war that ousted the dictator.

Friday’s change-of-command ceremony is part of military tradition designed to emphasize the continuity of leadership despite changes in individual authority in the six-state New England region.