Watervliet forges ahead with new commander
July 11, 2008
WATERVLIET, July 11, 2008 - Col. Scott N. Fletcher took command from Col. Kevin R. Moore in a military ceremony today at the Watervliet Arsenal that symbolized the changing of authority.
"For an Army officer...there is no higher honor or privilege than to command," Fletcher said.
Fletcher is a Logistics Corps officer who served in support of Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, which were operations to liberate Kuwait in 1990-1991. He is a 1986 graduate of the Citadel, the military college of South Carolina. His last military assignment was as the Deputy Director, International Student Management Office, National Defense University. Fletcher has two boys who will accompany him to the Arsenal, Andrew and Matthew.
Command of an Army organization is known in the military as the pinnacle of one's military career. Colonels, such as Fletcher and Moore, serve more than 20 years in a variety of tough, challenging jobs before ever being considered for a brigade-level command. If selected to command, they will command for two-three years.
Despite the importance of the ceremony highlighted by the attendance of several elected civilian leaders, such as U.S. Congressman Michael McNulty and Watervliet Mayor Michael Manning, Fletcher said this ceremony was not about him or the former commander, Moore. It was about tradition.
Fletcher complimented the Arsenal employees by saying that for nearly 200 years, the Arsenal has established a long history and tradition of supporting every national crisis since 1813 with superb professionalism, initiative, and ingenuity.
"I believe in tradition...I will honor the Arsenal's rich tradition by living by the Ordnance Motto - Service to the line, service on the line, and service on time," Fletcher said.
Brig. Gen. R. Mark Brown, commander of the U.S. Army Soldier Systems and Program Executive Officer-Soldier, Fort Belvoir, Va., presided over the change of command.
Brown said it takes more than 22 years to grow a commander.
"The Army selection process for commanders ensures only the best and brightest command," Brown said.
Then Brown praised Moore for his strength as a commander and Moore's ability to keep production on schedule despite an increased workload and diversity of products.
Moore, who has commanded the Arsenal since July 29, 2005, felt that today was bittersweet.
Although he is extremely proud of what the Watervliet Arsenal had accomplished during his tenure, he is saddened that the excitement of working along side such a great team has ended.
After the ceremony, when Moore was alone on the parade field with just his family, he said, "Very few people capture the true essence of command at these ceremonies."
"There are no reporters, no one else to capture or share the feeling of the moment when the command is complete and it is just me and my family left on the parade field. It is one of the saddest days of my career," Moore added.
Ceremony participants included a color guard from the New York State National Guard and the Army Materiel Command Quintet Band.
Watervliet Arsenal, which is located in New York, is the nation's oldest and, in many ways, newest military manufacturing facility. Founded in 1813 to support the "Second War for Independence," the War of 1812, the Arsenal has been a valuable resource to war fighters ever since.
The Arsenal continues to produce today's high tech weaponry for the U.S. military. From battle tank cannons to armor plates for HMMWV vehicles, the Arsenal has responded to every national crisis since 1813.
The Arsenal is also home to numerous military and civilian tenant organizations, 31 in all. The largest tenant is BenAfAt Laboratories, a national-award winning laboratory whose mission includes research, design, and production of military ordnance.