THANKFUL
Maj. Gen. Jim Myles, commander of the Aviation and Missile Command and Redstone Arsenal, expresses his appreciation to the work force and community for the past three years.

REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. -- It's another busy morning in the command suite at the Aviation and Missile Command. AMCOM commander Maj. Gen. Jim Myles is meeting behind closed doors with his deputy and the chief of staff.

If anybody thinks the retiring general is slacking off until his Sept. 10 change of command, they're wrong. Myles continues doing everything he can for the war fighter.

"We're going to push to the finish line, just go 100 miles an hour because our kids deserve nothing less than that," he said.

Myles, commander of AMCOM and Redstone Arsenal since July 2007, will relinquish command to Maj. Gen. James E. Rogers in a ceremony at 10 a.m. Sept. 10 in Bob Jones Auditorium. At that point, he will "give the colors to Jim Rogers, who's the right person at the right time," he said.

He and his wife, Alice, will remain in Huntsville. After 20 moves during his more than 36 years in the Army, they've bought a house in Hampton Cove. "Alice was the majority shareholder in this decision," he said.

He plans to take three weeks off, play golf and then decide what to do with the rest of his life.

"Alice and I walk out the door feeling very blessed we've been given the opportunity to come to the Tennessee Valley and contribute as much as possible," Myles, 57, said.

He thanks the community and the work force for their teamwork in support of the Soldier.

"What I walk away with is just unbelievable respect for this work force and what they do for Soldiers," he said. "I'm pleased to have been a part of this command because of the contribution to the Soldiers and what they do to keep them alive."

Myles mentioned the improvements that have been made in quality of life, the work on base realignment and closure ("everything is on track"), the partnership with industry for Enhanced Use Leasing, and the expansion of Martin Road.

"I'm also optimistic about the future, about this community's potential to contribute even more than they do now," he said.

Myles said Rogers, the incoming commander, is a "great team leader, great collaborator and proven enterpriser."

"He understands the operational environment so much, which is critical to command this place," Myles said.

Myles will miss the people here, especially the ones he sees daily on the fifth floor of building 5300 at the Sparkman Center.

"It's a special group of people up here on the fifth floor," he said. "It's just a family. They always will be."

He'll have 36 years and four months service on his actual retirement date - Jan. 1, 2011 or 1/1/11. "It's kind of like the start of a new year, a new career," he said.

"I will miss having the opportunity to make a significant difference in Soldiers' lives - hopefully positive. That's what I'm going to miss," he said. "I've got to find a way to still do it in some capacity."

Page last updated Thu September 2nd, 2010 at 10:30