FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- Col. James A. Muskopf took command of the U.S. Army Garrison Fort Rucker during a ceremony at the U.S. Army Aviation Museum June 28.

Muskopf replaced Col. Yvette J. Kelley, who is becoming the Central Command Washington liaison officer at the Pentagon.

Davis Tindoll Jr., Installation Management Command Southeast Region director and event guest speaker, called both colonels great Americans and described installation management as a "team effort."

The garrison commander is responsible for coordinating installation services, and maintaining Soldiers' and Families' quality of life.

"As our Army protects our citizens and serves our nation in a time of war against enemies (who) threaten our freedom, much is expected from Soldiers and their Families," Tindoll said. "The United States Army Installation Management's mission is to provide the Army with standardized, effective and efficient services, facilities and infrastructure to Soldiers, Families and citizens for an Army engaged in persistent conflict."

He charged Muskopf with maintaining the high standards set here by Kelley and emphasized his trust in him.

"His assignments, extensive experience and military education offer impeccable credentials for garrison command. Colonel Muskopf, I am confident with your demonstrated leadership you will build on the successes of previous commanders," Tindoll said. "I challenge you to serve (the community) well with quality, efficient standard(s) and maintain this installation as a community of excellence."

Muskopf last served as Collective Training Division chief and assistant director of training at the Pentagon.

He thanked Tindoll for the "opportunity and privilege of taking command of this great garrison."

"I don't take that responsibility and this opportunity lightly, and realize the enormous responsibility that goes with command," Muskopf said. "For the garrison staff, I offer you the best of my ability to make all of you successful in performance of our mission. I'm proud today to take command of this fine organization. I look forward to the challenges ahead."

The Millstadt, Ill., native graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y. , where he earned his commission as an Aviation second lieutenant in 1984. He is joined by his wife, Esther, and four children.

Tindoll thanked Kelley for her efforts in improving Fort Rucker's quality of life. Some of these efforts included overseeing building new Picerne Military Housing homes and community centers, Starbucks, The Landing Zone, Splash! pool, renovating the Center Library, and establishing the sale of weapons and ammunition at the Post Exchange.

"Yvette, you have done well and I'm sure you're proud of your success. I know the Fort Rucker community is proud of you and thankful for the achievements your leadership has brought to this community," he said.

Kelley, from Los Angeles, commissioned in 1982 from University of California at Los Angeles' ROTC program. She thanked garrison members for their accomplishments and said she was proud to serve here.

"We, in the garrison business, share a tremendous responsibility of safeguarding all those (who) pass through our gates," she said. "Whether it's caring for children, providing emergency services or running a 24-hour (operations) center, I am proud to say our workforce has done it all well. This is a truly special place. I may be off to the Pentagon, but my heart remains here with you at Fort Rucker."

During a brief ceremony before the change of command, Tindoll presented Kelley with the Legion of Merit for her meritorious service and outstanding achievements.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16