Col. Daniel L. Thomas

FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md. - It has been my distinct honor and pleasure to have served as Fort Meade's installation commander for the past three years. During my time here I have had the privilege to work and witness, firsthand, the significant change, growth and transformation of Fort Meade.

I would simply like to thank the entire community for their support and efforts while I have been here. I was blessed to have the privilege to command this particular installation and be part of this particular community.

All bases are different, all serve different mission populations and all are fine examples of what is right with our Army and our sister services. But you know what? Some bases are better than others, and I tell everyone Fort Meade is the best. And if someone doesn't think that is the case, well, you cannot question that this base and community is one of the best areas to live, work and serve.

We are fortunate here to have a synergy of a number of positive communities. Our congressional and state elected officials are concerned, respected allies and advocates for Fort Meade, as is our local county governments.

Our local business and business liaison groups are absolutely patriotic friends of our base, and operate not only from a business perspective, but from genuine concern for our country.

The units, organizations, commanders and service members stationed at Fort Meade unquestionably are at the upper tier not only in mission accomplishment, but also in cooperating as a community of interests here on the base -- totally professional. The people living and working on the base, and our friends outside the gate, do so in a spirit of cooperation and friendship.

In addition, a capable and committed garrison workforce comes to work every day and provides professional service to our customers.

Again, in all these categories, I know for a fact it is not this way everywhere, but for whatever fortunate reason, it is that way here, and for that we are all lucky.

And it is a good thing we have this environment. We are on the final stages of the Base Realignment and Closure process; the buildings are complete and the workforce is arriving. I think it is safe to say that we have succeeded in our BRAC responsibilities.

However, that does not mean our challenges are over. Much is left to be done with additional mission growth and support in the fields of cyber security and intelligence, with Fort Meade's role in both these related areas expanding. We already have our work cut out for us in moving these missions ahead, and it is safe to say there are unforeseen challenges to deal with. Now, more than ever, the strength of this combined community will come into play.

It is nice being able to leave knowing this positive foundation is in place for Col. Edward Rothstein as he takes over. He is going to do an outstanding job in continuing to move us forward.

I'm confident in the future of our nation and our armed forces. Thank you for your service and your sacrifices. Thank you for what you have done, what you do and what you are going to do to continue to make Fort Meade the envy of other U.S. military installations.

May God bless and protect you and your families wherever you may serve.

I wish you all the best of luck.

The garrison change of command ceremony will take place Tuesday at 9 a.m. on McGlachlin Parade Field.

Page last updated Sun July 24th, 2011 at 18:37