Rite of passage: McAlister assumes SSI command from Mustion
July 2, 2009
- Brig. Gen. Mustion begins his new job as adjutant general of the Army July 8.
- Col. Mark McAlister is taking over as commander of the Soldier Support Institute, which houses five different schools and the 369th AG Bn.
Brig. Gen. Richard Mustion said he welcomes his new assignment, but he will miss being commander of the U.S. Army Soldier Support Institute at Fort Jackson.
During a ceremony yesterday, Mustion relinquished command of SSI to Col. Mark McAlister. Mustion begins his new assignment Wednesday as the Army's adjutant general, which includes commanding the Physical Disability Agency, and serving as the executive director of the Military Postal Service Agency in Alexandria, Va.
"I have enjoyed Fort Jackson and the training environment that's here. I will miss the close-knit community of Fort Jackson," Mustion said.
Mustion said he is most proud of helping the Army train and prepare more capable Soldiers. During his tenure at Fort Jackson, Mustion was charged with implementing more rigorous and realistic training initiatives for Soldiers. And though he only had a year to achieve his task, Mustion saw it as a challenge and a rewarding experience.
"As I look back, (I think my greatest achievement) was being able to produce and educate quality Soldiers for the Army," he said.
Mustion has had a hand in training about 28,000 Soldiers.
One of the first tasks of his new role and new challenge will be coordinating the relocation of the Army's Physical Disability Agency and Military Postal Service operations to Fort Knox, Ky. Mustion will be managing a staff twice the size of SSI's.
There are more than 500 Soldiers and civilians assigned to SSI.
Mustion, 50, has served in the Army for 28 years, and he has been married to his high school sweetheart Kelly for just as long. He said they will miss their friends and co-workers, and the support of the leadership at Fort Jackson.
"I've had a great experience at Fort Jackson - a terrific job, terrific folks to work with .... It's going to be bittersweet," Mustion said.
Ralph Allison, SSI chief of staff, said Mustion would also be missed.
"Serving with (Brig. Gen.) Mustion, during his tenure as the SSI CG, has been rewarding," Allison said. "His vision, leadership and dedication are infectious. He will continue to leave his mark on the Soldiers, families and civilians that make up our great Army by serving as the next adjutant general."
McAlister is former executive officer to the assistant secretary of the Army (Financial Management and Comptroller) and former chief of Plans, Programs and Budget Integration at the Pentagon.
"(My wife) Beverly and I are extremely excited about joining the Fort Jackson and greater Columbia community," McAlister said a few days before the change-of-command ceremony.
"We look forward to leading and training the great Soldiers and civilians of the Soldier Support Institute."