Grosso assumes command of Fort Carson garrison
May 17, 2012
FORT CARSON, Colo. -- Col. Robert F. McLaughlin passed the garrison colors during a May 10 change of command ceremony on Founders Field. The symbolic passing solidified McLaughlin's departure and welcomed Col. David Grosso as Fort Carson's newest garrison commander.
"The garrison commander is an invaluable and essential part of our team. It's an extremely complex and demanding position," said Maj. Gen. Joseph Anderson, commanding general, 4th Infantry Division and Fort Carson.
Anderson thanked McLaughlin for his three years of service as the garrison commander, but assured the community they were receiving an equally qualified leader in Grosso.
"Dave is a combat-tested and proven leader," Anderson said. "I have the utmost confidence that Dave will take charge with ease and give 110-percent effort in order to provide the same level of care and support that our Soldiers and Families have become accustomed to."
Previously the deputy commander of the 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne) at Fort Carson, Grosso said he was looking forward to working with the Fort Carson and Pikes Peak community to continue meeting the needs of Soldiers and their Families.
"Any success I've ever experienced came about because of the Soldiers I've served with," said Grosso during his first address to the Fort Carson community.
"We have been given much here at Fort Carson," he said. "Fort Carson and Colorado Springs can continue to expect much from the U.S. Army Garrison and from myself."
Grosso thanked McLaughlin for his guidance as Grosso prepared to take command.
"Bob, you've set the bar high," he said. "You're a professional through and through and I could not have asked for a better friend and mentor."
McLaughlin took command in 2009 during a time of immense change.
"Bob's leadership was essential to the transformation and growth of (Fort Carson)," Anderson said.
Anderson touted McLaughlin's accomplishments, including overseeing the thousands of 4th Inf. Div. troops to Fort Carson from Fort Hood, Texas. McLaughlin also upgraded infrastructure on post, which improved traffic as well as facilities for Soldier and Family programs. Anderson said McLaughlin's efforts to build relationships with the Pikes Peak communities helped Fort Carson reach many long-term goals and fostered a positive working relationship.
"His hands-on leadership style and mature judgment both produced a positive command climate while focusing his team on the preparation and synchronization of this installation's growth," Anderson said. "Bob's team-player attitude allowed the division to successfully relocate, deploy, redeploy and conduct numerous missions with unwavering garrison support."
During his farewell speech, McLaughlin said he was proud of the Soldiers, Fort Carson community and the Pikes Peak community.
"Today, it feels like a family reunion," he said. "Many of you are just like family to me. … Families are close. They look out for each other. They take care of each other. And of course, there is a little bit of dysfunction to keep things interesting."
McLaughlin thanked numerous military and civilian leaders as well as the members of his staff.
"In the beginning, (I was) peppered with tasks and acronyms that I didn't understand. … I really didn't know if I would make it, but the team here, the community and my Family all kept me on track," he said.
Upon leaving Fort Carson, McLaughlin will deploy to Afghanistan as the chief of staff for U.S. Forces-Afghanistan.
In his final remarks, McLaughlin gave his successor some encouraging words.
"Dave, I wish you the best of luck. I'm excited about the future and what you and Maj. Gen. Anderson will accomplish together," he said. "I'm extremely proud and honored to be a member of this community. Together, you have made Fort Carson 'The Best Hometown in the Army -- Home of America's Best.'"