FORT LEE, Va. (Aug. 11, 2016) -- More than two months after the former Chief of Ordnance left his post, Col. David Wilson took charge of the corps during an assumption of command ceremony Wednesday at Whittington Parade Field on the Ordnance Campus.
Maj. Gen. Darrell K. Williams, CASCOM and Fort Lee commanding general, passed the mantle of leadership to Wilson from Col. James Groark, who was the acting commandant and chief during the interim.
Williams thanked Groark for continuing the Ordnance mission without any missteps and for his success as acting chief.
Assumptions and changes of command are time-honored ceremonies, said Williams.
“Each and every one (of these ceremonies) is special because they continue to record the history of our great units and this organization,” said Williams. “Today, we honor two great leaders and showcase the Ordnance Corps. We pass the guidon to commemorate the 40th Chief of Ordnance.”
As CG for the last year, Williams said he has a greater appreciation for the 100,000 Soldiers the Ordnance Corps brings to the fight.
“We remain a nation at war. Without question, through your training and education of over 27,000 troops both here and at other Ordnance School locations, we clearly could not win the fight without you.
“Our Soldiers are the best equipped and trained, and that’s because of the phenomenal work done here at the Ordnance School,” continued Williams. “Thus, the leadership of this great organization is critical, and the role of the branch chief is significant.”
The Army leadership has selected the right man at the right time, said Williams, as he welcomed Wilson and his family.
“Our 40th Chief of Ordnance is a proven– and I underscore the word ‘proven’ – leader who brings an extraordinary combination of talent and experience to the position,” he said. “As you can see from his bio, he has meticulously and successfully served in highly demanding positions in the Army.
“There is no question the Soldiers, civilians and family members in the Ordnance Corps remain in good hands,” Williams continued. “I have personally known Dave Wilson for more than a decade, and I know him to be a masterful leader and strategic thinker.”
Wilson – who most recently served as the executive officer for the Army Materiel Command – thanked Williams for his comments and said he is proud to serve in the Ordnance Corps. In 1993, he was a field artillery captain and was called to the Ordnance Corps career counselor and told he would be switching to the branch.
“I reached out (to another officer) about my chances of staying in field artillery,” Wilson said. “He told me ‘Wilson, the Army has done you a favor. You need to move to Ordnance or get out of the Army.’
“It was pretty clear to me then, and I’m happy today to report I’m glad I went to Ordnance,” he continued. “I’ve never been prouder to be part of this great corps. I’m overwhelmed by the picture of the corps, and I’m humbled by my small piece in that picture.”