A Gary, Ind., native and former enlisted transporter has taken charge of the 59th Ordnance Brigade here.
Col. Clydea M. Prichard-Brown, who started her career in 1991 as an 88N Traffic Management Coordinator, assumed the duties and responsibilities of her new position during a change of command ceremony June 25 in the Ordnance Training Support Facility.
Prichard-Brown succeeded Col. Daniel P. Ellinger who ended a two-year stint as commander of the Ord. School’s troop element. He has been reassigned to U.S. Africa Command, Stuttgart, Germany
Brig. Gen. Michelle M.T. Letcher, Chief of Ordnance, officiated the formalities. She was assisted by Command Sgt. Maj. Ivy L. Guido, 59th Ord. Bde., CSM. Also in attendance were Maj. Gen. Rodney D. Fogg, CASCOM and Fort Lee commanding general; Chief Warrant Officer 5 Jonathan O. Yerby, CASCOM CWO; CSM Michael J. Perry III, CASCOM CSM; CW5 Danny K. Taylor, Ord. Corps CWO; and CSM Petra M. Casarez, Ord. Corps CSM.
Prichard-Brown previously served as chief of CASCOM’s Logistics and Materiel Readiness Directorate. In remarks at the ceremony, the spouse of Eric L. Upthegrove and mother of two thanked God, her family members – many of whom were present – and all who supported her career aspirations. She also expressed gratitude toward the Ord. School and CASCOM leadership for allowing her the opportunity to command.
“I look forward to carrying out your visions for CASCOM and the Ord. Corps in training our next and future leaders,” she said.
Pritchard-Brown also acknowledged the work of her predecessor, saying he “will be a hard act to follow.”
“What you have done with the 59th Ordnance Brigade over the past two years is nothing short of amazing, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for an awesome handoff.”
Earlier in the ceremony, the chief of ordnance said Prichard-Brown comes well-qualified to execute the duties of overseeing a brigade responsible for 4,800 Soldiers and civilians mostly located here but also at several other installations around the country.
“Her leadership is extensive and her logistics expertise is broad,” Letcher said. “She commanded the 836th Transportation Battalion in Japan after a tour as the XO (executive officer) to the Director of Training, Headquarters, Department of the Army, G3/5/7.
“She did multiple overseas tours and combat deployments as well as (holding) key sustainment positions at the headquarters, DA level. She has a wealth of experience and a keen understanding of sustainment warfighter challenges … and now she’s positioned to develop the Army’s greatest capability – the centerpiece of our Army – our Soldiers.”
Prichard-Brown departed the enlisted ranks as a sergeant in 1995, attended Indiana University-Purdue on a Green-to-Gold Scholarship and was commissioned into the Transportation Corps in 1997.
In reference to Ellinger, Letcher said his work speaks for itself. Over his tenure, he oversaw the training of more than 46,000 Soldiers in 26 different specialties. Those troops flowed out into the operational Army, supplying the core competencies of equipment maintenance, explosive ordnance disposal, and ammunition movement and supply.
Additionally, the Missouri native and ordnance-trained officer led the brigade through higher-headquarters-directed steps that led to more rigorous and realistic field training for initial entry training troops. Letcher cited Ellinger’s work to improve the Ordnance Crucible, a competition for field units that also acts as a means to determine the efficacy of ordnance training.
Summing up his accomplishments, she said he has been an “enduring influence” on the readiness of the Army, well beyond the AIT arena. Referencing her recent June 16 installment as chief of ordnance, Letcher said her time with Ellinger has been relatively short, but his leadership footprint is evident, especially in the area of compassion.
“Every interaction I’ve had with Dan has been about taking care of Soldiers and taking care of families,” she said. “He’s absolutely passionate about it.”
Letcher closed her remarks with words of thanks to Ellinger’s spouse Kathy for her support to the brigade and community. The departing colonel’s two teenage children also were in attendance.
Ellinger, who came to the brigade from CASCOM, thanked family members in addition to the leadership, cadre and Soldiers for “his stable ride as brigade commander.” Using a question to describe what the organization has accomplished over the course of two years along the lines of helping to develop Soldiers, he said it was all about the team.
“What do we want to be known for?” he posed, “(It’s) that we have trained the next generation to be better than we were. … For the past two years, I’ve had the honor – I’ve had the privilege – to be the commander of these fine Soldiers … the 46,000 who’ve come through here. It has been the highlight of my career, and I will be forever grateful to have led the Power to Spare Brigade.”
Ellinger was awarded the Legion of Merit prior to the ceremony. Mrs. Ellinger also was presented with awards.