FORT LEE, Va. (June 23, 2016) -- The “Power to Spare” brigade welcomed a new leader Friday morning during a change of command ceremony at MacLaughlin Fitness Center.
Col. Jeffery A. Carter relinquished the top 59th Ordnance Bde. position to Col. Sean P. Davis, a 24-year veteran with extensive deployment experience and a previous stint at CASCOM where he served as the Army Logistics Proponent chief.
Maj. Gen. Darrell K. Williams, CASCOM and Fort Lee commanding general, presided over the ceremony and had the honor of retrieving the brigade colors from Carter and passing them to Davis as several hundred fellow Soldiers and assorted family members and distinguished guests observed.
Plugging the significance of the Army Sustainment training mission here during remarks, Williams said, for a nation and an Army at war, nothing is more important than continuing to provide trained and ready Soldiers to deployable units at home and U.S. and allied forces on the battlefield.
“Our military is the best manned, best equipped and maintained force in the world,” he continued. “Part of the reason why all of that is true is because of the phenomenal work that gets done by the 59th Ord. Bde., which directly contributes to our success in every formation around the Army. And, of course, the leader in charge of that brigade for the last couple of years has been Col. Jeff Carter who delivered on everything that was expected of him as a commander.”
Carter, unquestionably, executed his mission with excellence and provided capable leadership, the commanding general emphasized.
“The 59th has delivered over 48,000 proficient and technically competent Ordnance Soldiers (during Carter’s time in command),” Williams said. “Jeffery developed a concept called operational training – bridging the gap, which laid the foundation for building agile, adaptive leaders. The brigade established a very successful peer-to-peer SHARP program that empowered Soldiers to significantly reduce (sexual harassment and assault) incidents across their units and (ultimately) all of CASCOM.”
A Platoon Honors Program created under Carter’s watch rewards advanced individual training platoons for demonstrating positive Army values and meeting APFT standards as well as expected academic grade point averages.
“The list of accomplishments could go on and on,” Williams continued. “(They are the hallmarks) of this leader’s quiet professionalism and stellar leadership abilities. … In accordance with the Ordnance Creed, Jeff has continued to strive for perfection of the craft and use every available resource to maintain the superiority of the corps. Because of you, our Army is better and our Soldiers are better prepared to support the fighter in a complex world.”
Welcoming Davis and his wife Camille, Williams said the 59th will move forward with an “excellent team” that is highly qualified and quite capable of taking the mantle of leadership.
“Col. Davis is known by reputation as a focused leader and a master logistician who will get the job done and who I know will ensure our Soldiers are well-trained and taken care of,” Williams said. “The Army could not have picked a better team than Sean and Camille. The CASCOM, Ordnance and Fort Lee Team extends to you a warm welcome.”
Carter’s remarks primarily acknowledged those who provided the greatest support during his tenure.
“When I took command two years ago, one of my top priorities was to produce apprentice Soldiers capable of being productive team members on day one (of arrival to their first duty stations),” he said. “With the help of Dr. (Richard) Armstrong and the great civilians and NCOs in the Directorate of Training, as well as our superb battalion and company leadership, we did just that. … (The) positive feedback we’re hearing from the field is our Soldiers are arriving in good physical condition and with the requisite technical skills to be (contributing) team members as soon as they arrive. For that, I offer my thanks to all instructors and platoon sergeants for the great work they do in preparing young Soldiers to be our future leaders.”
Wishing “the best of luck” to the incoming commander, Carter encouraged Davis to “enjoy his time in the seat” noting the battallion commanders and support staff are dedicated to ensuring his success.
“(The time) will go by fast, so just enjoy the ride,” said Carter who will next serve as the deputy commander for the 1st Theater Sustainment Command, homebased at Fort Bragg, N.C., but currently forward-deployed to Kuwait in support of warfighters serving in Southwest Asia.
Davis’ remarks primarily focused on the individuals who have contributed to his career success thus far. Family mentors include his father-in-law Navy Rear Admiral Gary Hartz and an uncle who served in Vietnam. The colonel thanked his wife and kids for “enduring” just over two decades of military life in addition to seven combat deployments and 12 permanent change of station moves.
Addressing the significance of joining Team Lee, Davis closed with the following observation. “The Chief of Staff of the Army has established readiness for ground combat as the No. 1 priority,” he said. CASCOM focus areas echo that goal.
“When I entered the gate this morning, I thought about the combat imperative of readiness as the security guard stated, ‘Support Starts Here,’” he continued. “Support does start here, and when I look at (these) Ordnance Soldiers, I am struck by how essential each and every one of them is to achieving the CSA’s priority.
“The EOD, ammunition and maintenance Soldiers before you are the difference between a weapon system making a deafening bang or a hushed and unfulfilling click; the difference between an engine roaring or stalling; and the difference between patrolling a battle space with freedom of movement or restrictions due to unexploded-ordnance-ridden roads. Support and Army readiness does begin right here.”