Fort Belvoir welcomes new Garrison Commander
June 26, 2014
Fort Belvoir, Va. (June 26, 2014) - U.S. Army Garrison Fort Belvoir welcomed its new commander during a change of command ceremony, Wednesday outside the garrison headquarters building.
Col. Michelle D. Mitchell assumed command from Col. Gregory D. Gadson.
Mitchell assumes command after serving in the Pentagon as the Chief, Personnel Readiness Division. Before that, she served as Battalion Commander of the Phoenix Recruiting Battalion in Arizona. Mitchell said she is excited for this opportunity.
"It is my pleasure to serve as garrison commander of Fort Belvoir," said Mitchell. "My husband and I are excited to join the command team, and I look forward to working with the Garrison and community partners."
Maj. Gen. Jeffrey S. Buchanan, commanding general, Military District of Washington, gave opening remarks. Buchanan talked about his confidence in Mitchell, and her ability to continue the great work Gadson did in his two years as Garrison Commander.
"Greg has set a high bar," said Buchanan, "but, I know Col. Mitchell will do a good job."
Buchanan also spoke of how Gadson lives the seven Army values every day, but said "Respect of others" is the value that best describes him. Gadson's ability to understand the needs of others is why Buchanan chose this value to describe him.
"You go out of your way to understand others' needs," Buchanan said of Gadson. "Soldiers mentioned the lack of fitness options on post and you worked hard to bring in the new CrossFit center. That is a testament of the respect your have for others."
Gadson wished Mitchell the best of luck and said she has many exciting events to look forward to in the near future. He said he couldn't thank the garrison command team enough, because if not for them he would not have been able to accomplish what he did throughout the last two years. He also appreciated the relationships he established with the command team.
"I'm lucky," said Gadson. "I was able to go beyond the title of colleague with members of the command team and become friends."
The relationship he had with former Garrison Command Sgt. Maj. Chester Grelock, and current garrison Command Sgt. Maj. Scott E. Guillory also helped in handling his daily tasks during his tenure as commander, according to Gadson.
"The noncommissioned officer corps is the backbone of the Army," said Gadson. "It is very comforting to know that the left hand doesn't have to worry about the right hand. We knew where the other one was without having to talk about it."
Gadson also appreciated the opportunity to give back to the Army while serving as garrison commander.
"This has been my greatest opportunity in my Army career to give back," said Gadson. "I was able to give and make a small difference every day."
Mitchell has also previously served as the Executive Officer, 516th Personnel Services Battalion at Camp Coiner, Korea. After serving as battalion commander of the Phoenix Recruiting Battalion, she deployed to Islamabad, Pakistan where she served as the protocol officer, Office of Defense Representative-Pakistan.