Fort Leonard Wood gives heartfelt farewell, welcomes new commanding general
September 29, 2011
- "The way ahead for the Maneuver Support Center of Excellence can best be summarized by three words, continuity, commitment and agility," said Brig. Gen. Mark Yenter.
FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. -- The Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and Fort Leonard Wood held a change-of-command ceremony, Sept. 23, 2011, at Gammon Field, here. Lt. Gen. John E. Sterling, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, deputy commanding general and chief of staff, presided over the ceremony as Maj. Gen. David E. Quantock passed command responsibilities to Brig. Gen. Mark W. Yenter.
Sterling remarked that it is great to be back at Fort Leonard Wood among so many distinguished guests and friends that he knows personally, to recognize and celebrate the outstanding service of Maj. Gen. Dave and Melissa Quantock as the command team here, and to install the new command team, Brig. Gen. Mark and Lisa Yenter.
Prior to the change of command, an award ceremony was held for the Quantocks.
"There are little things that you notice from time to time," said Sterling. "Normally when you do an award ceremony like this, and you're out here on a beautiful day like today, it takes quite some time to encourage everybody to move in--everybody usually kind of stands on the outside there. But I notice that everybody is nice and close up here today and I can assume that is a sign of the respect and admiration that everybody has for this great Army family here, and I absolutely knew that would be the case because of the relationship that we have with the Quantocks."
Sterling presented Quantock with the Distinguished Service Medal for exceptional meritorious service in duty of great responsibility from May 7, 2010 to Sept. 23, 2011.
"The Distinguished Service Medal is a major symbol of recognition of our Army for the service that Dave Quantock has performed, and you say 'gosh it hasn't been that long--how can somebody in that short period of time accomplish all the things that we normally associate with the DSM?' I'm here to tell you today that Dave Quantock has earned this medal many times over," Sterling said.
"This is an amazing place here with a huge mission, training close to 100,000 Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines, and Coast Guardsmen every year, members of militaries from many, many, different countries, and for that reason alone, for the contribution of Fort Leonard Wood to the readiness of our Nation's military, is why Dave Quantock has certainly earned the recognition that we're going to give him today with a DSM," Sterling said. "But on top of that he is commander of a very large Army installation that has not only TRADOC organizations here but Forces Command and Installation Management Command organizations."
"We have asked all of the schools to help us to find ways that we can improve and change the way we learn and the way we train, and none of our TRADOC schools have done that any better than right here at Fort Leonard Wood," said Sterling. "You all have created here a reputation for innovation that is just unsurpassed, and that starts right at the very top, and so, for many reasons over, Dave Quantock has more than earned this DSM and it is my honor today to present that to him."
"We know that nobody can accomplish this without an awful lot of support, and so Melissa, we want to say thanks this morning for all the great support that you have provided Dave," Sterling said. "The mentoring, the support, the assurance that you've given Soldiers, their families and civilians has touched their lives and thereby touched our Army in ways that will last for years and years."
Melissa Quantock was awarded the Outstanding Service Medal for exemplary contributions to the Soldiers and families of the Fort Leonard Wood community from May 2010 to Sept. 2011. She also received the Margaret C. Corbin award for demonstrating dedicated exemplary volunteerism as an outstanding, totally committed military spouse working tirelessly to improve the quality of life for Soldiers and their families.
"As I look into the audience, all I see are friends," said Quantock, after he was presented with the Distinguished Service Medal. "This is a very special community, and I have been absolutely honored to just be part of this great team that we have here."
Quantock thanked Sterling for his friendship and mentorship and said, "We really appreciate your support, TRADOC support, down here."
"As I look at all the things that we accomplished, it was just so wonderful to watch all of you knock targets down day in, day out, and I was just proud to be on your team," Quantock said. "There will not be a day that I won't be thinking about Fort Leonard Wood and the community that surrounds it, and all of you."
After being installed, and in keeping with the mission to take care of Soldiers and their families, Yenter's first command was to direct the Soldiers and joint services on the parade field to go to rest for a short period of time.
"I'm actually measuring your ability to follow simple orders," Yenter said to the service members on the parade field. "Our Army has been at war for ten years and we are morally obligated to take care of Soldiers and their families before, during and after deployment--and this is non-negotiable."
"Lisa and I are proud to join the Maneuver Support Center of Excellence team," said Yenter.
"I would like to recognize team Quantock as well for what you have done for the Army and for TRADOC, and for the Center here, and for the community here at Fort Leonard Wood," Yenter said. "The Quantocks have provided Lisa and me with great hospitality and warmth during our transition period. The hard work that they've done at FLW has led to significant and enduring improvements to the Center of Excellence, to the security and quality of life here at Fort Leonard Wood and in the local community."
"The way ahead for the Maneuver Support Center of Excellence can best be summarized by three words, continuity, commitment and agility," said Yenter. "The campaign plan is rock solid and remains in effect without modification. Continuity includes aggressive support to current operations, while thoughtfully developing the Army of tomorrow."
He also said, in terms of commitment, there are non-negotiables here including upholding the Army values of loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and personal courage.
"We all know the best way to take care of our Soldiers and leaders in combat, is to prepare them for the mission through tough and realistic training," said Yenter. "We must charge them with offensive spirit and give them the tactical and technical skills required to get the mission accomplished. While we remain committed to executing our plans, we must be forward-looking; we must be agile in thought as we anticipate change, embrace change and manage change."
Quantock leaves MSCoE and Fort Leonard Wood to take command of the Army Criminal Investigation Command in Washington, D.C. The position is also the Army Provost Marshal.
Yenter joins the command from Afghanistan where he served with the U.S. Army Engineer Division, Trans-Atlantic (Forward) U.S. Forces-Afghanistan as the director and commander of the Joint Engineering Directorate.