Ordnance begins new era at Fort Lee
September 20, 2009
FORT LEE, Va. (Sept. 24, 2009) -- After training Soldiers at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., for nearly a century, the U.S. Army Ordnance School cased its colors, packed up and headed south.
Brig. Gen. Lynn A. Collyar, U.S. Army Ordnance School, commanding general, and Command Sgt. Maj. Daniel A. Eubanks, Ordnance School regimental command sergeant major, uncased their colors at the Sustainment Center of Excellence headquarters building Friday, marking the official arrival of the U.S. Army Ordnance School at Fort Lee.
Standing between Mifflin Hall and the SCoE, Collyar spoke about the significance of the event.
"Uncasing our colors is truly a big deal," he said. "We were at Aberdeen for 92 years and it effectively took an act of Congress to wedge us out. We are going to be here a while."
In less than a month, more than 500 Soldiers will begin training at the complex across Route 36, dubbed "Fort Lee North."
Over the next two years, the student load will increase until the population reaches nearly 4,000. Add another 1,000 instructors and cadre and the population of the ordnance campus will exceed that of one western Virginia county.
Collyar said the state-of-the-art facilities will allow Soldiers, Airmen and Marines to receive the training they deserve.
The Ordnance School is the first of several sustainment entities arriving at Fort Lee over the next two years, making it a powerhouse of sustainment training.
"This is one of the first steps to Fort Lee becoming the premier sustainment training site for the Army and other services across the continent and the world," Collyar said.
In conjunction with the uncasing ceremony, the school hosted its annual Sept. 11 Memorial. Since the terrorist attacks eight years ago, the Ordnance School has paid tribute to ordnance military members killed in Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom and other operations.
To date, 199 ordnance warriors have lost their lives in service to their country. Twenty Soldiers, Marines and Airmen stood ready to honor the ordnance military members lost this year. One by one they somberly placed a dog-tag bearing the fallen individual's name on the memorial while a roll call was read and bagpipes played in the background.
Collyar said that some may question why Sept. 11 was chosen to celebrate a new era for the Ordnance Corps and Fort Lee.
"Some questioned why we should do such a jubilant ceremony on the same day as a solemn ceremony," he said. "If you think about it, it is hard to have joy without sorrow. It's hard to have happiness without some sadness, and it's hard to have freedom without sacrifice."