Brooks takes charge of Fort Lee garrison
August 15, 2013
FORT LEE, Va., (Aug. 8, 2013) -- Col. Paul K. Brooks -- a U.S. Military Academy graduate and former enlisted military policeman -- was welcomed as the new commander of U.S. Army Garrison, Fort Lee during a change command ceremony Aug. 1 at the Lee Club.
Brooks replaced Col. Rodney D. Edge, who began his tenure as the garrison commander here on July 28, 2011.
Davis D. Tindoll Jr., Atlantic Region director, U.S. Army Installation Management Command, was the presiding official for the ceremony that attracted roughly 400 people. They included retired Lt. Gen. David S. Weisman, civilian aide to the Secretary of the Army for Virginia (South); Joseph Jeu, chief executive officer, Defense Commissary Agency; Rosalyn Dance, delegate, 63rd District, Commonwealth of Virginia; and Maj. Gen. Larry D. Wyche, commanding general, Combined Arms Support Command.
Brooks, a former armor and current Logistics Corps officer, comes to Fort Lee from the National Defense University at Fort McNair in Washington, D.C. There, he earned a master's degree at the Dwight D. Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy.
During his remarks, Brooks thanked his family -- noting that his recently deceased father "waited a long time to see this day come, only to miss it by a couple of months" -- as well as friends, a contingent of supporters from Fort Bragg, N.C., and others who supported him along the way. He also thanked Edge for a smooth transition and wished him well in his future endeavors. "I will probably be calling you immediately," he jokingly said. The remark resulted in light chuckles from the crowd.
On a more serious note, Brooks said he was thankful that he was afforded the opportunity to lead the garrison and struck a note of earnestness about the major issues it has to confront.
"To be sure, there will be many challenges in our future as the military transitions into a leaner force," he said, "but we will face all these challenges together as a team. (I look forward to) working with each and every one of you to provide the best support possible to our Soldiers, our families, our civilians, this installation and the community."
Brooks brings to Fort Lee a diversity of education and operational and staff assignments. His resume includes multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, and staff positions of increasing importance within Fort Bragg's U.S. Army Special Operations Command and 82nd Sustainment Brigade. His military schooling includes the Ranger Course, Jumpmaster School and Combined Arms Services Staff School. Brooks also holds a master's degree from the Marine Corps University.
Tindoll said Brooks' "impeccable credentials" will ensure an outstanding command climate.
"I'm confident with your demonstrated leadership, you will build on the success of your predecessor," he continued during his remarks. "The challenges are many, especially with the current fiscal restraints, but I'm confident that you will bring new energy and essence to this garrison command."
Edge, a logistics officer with quartermaster roots, arrived at Fort Lee only a few months prior to the installation's Base Realignment and Closure compliance deadline. Tindoll said the garrison under Edge's leadership completed the effort ahead of schedule, saving the Army resources.
"Fort Lee … is a BRAC success story," he said. "This is due to many of you here today and to the diligence of Col. Edge."
During his remarks, Edge sported his usual relaxed demeanor and off-hand humor. While offering words of thanks to the Fort Lee garrison team, he gave special kudos to Melissa Magowan, his deputy; Patti Parent, executive officer; and others in the garrison commander's office. He also singled out the leaders of each directorate, listing them by name and thanking them for their support. A final note of gratitude went to all the civilians and military, past and present, who contributed to the garrison's ongoing effort, and his personal goal, to make Fort Lee "an ideal place in which to work and live."
"We want people to choose to come here," he said, "not because they were on orders but because they wanted to. I want Fort Lee to be home. Regardless of where people (go to) when they venture out the gates, they know they can once again return 'home.'"
Edge is due to retire within the next year.