Sill honors departing deputy CG
June 21, 2012
FORT SILL, Okla.-- Friends and dignitaries from Lawton-Fort Sill gathered to honor Fort Sill's departing senior civilian during a retreat ceremony June 15 in front of McNair Hall.
Kirby Brown was the first civilian deputy to the commanding general of the Fires Center of Excellence and Fort Sill arriving here in August 2007. He now moves on to the Combined Arms Center at Fort Leavenworth, Kan.
"It is a privilege to recognize and thank one of our Army's most gifted strategic thinkers, planners and leaders," said Maj. Gen. Mark McDonald, FCoE and Fort Sill commanding general, who presided over the ceremony. "We have all benefited from the visionary leadership of Kirby Brown and thank him for all he's done in the advancement of the Fires Center, this installation and our community."
The general remarked on the dramatic changes to Fort Sill since he was last here in 2006, noting new air defense artillery and field artillery training facilities and new housing among others.
"Much of this success is due to Kirby Brown; he has a rare gift of being able to analyze, assess and prioritize every step required to achieve a grand vision," said McDonald. "More importantly he can articulate that vision, build a team and inspire them to make it happen."
The general spoke of some of the reasons Brown came to Fort Sill: to help create the Fires Center, manage the civilian workforce and strengthen the entire organization through a senior civilian leadership and education initiative.
"You handled this all magnificently," he said. "Kirby proved he's a master at garnering resources, he understands exactly what the priorities are and how to ensure that multiple agencies work together to achieve a significant goal and objective."
McDonald called Brown the glue that pulled everything together at Fort Sill.
"What Mr. Brown and Team Sill accomplished over the last five years for our Soldiers, Marines, airmen, civilians, allies, families and community are simply outstanding," said the general. "Kirby, without a doubt, we are fortunate to have been a beneficiary of your gifted leadership."
Brown received the Meritorious Civilian Service medal and was later presented an artillery canister representing the retreat round fired in his honor.
Recalling his arrival on a hot summer day in 2007, Brown said he thought people in the audience wondered what a civilian was doing standing in the midst of an Army formation. But after meeting the Soldiers and civilians who worked here, he knew that great things would be accomplished during his time here.
"I'm not a Fires Soldier, nor was I ever one. For them to welcome me in meant a lot," he said.
Brown arrived thanks to a Base Realignment and Closure initiative that placed senior executive civilians in the Army's multi-branch centers promoting stability and continuity.
"I was honored to be the first one selected and honored to come here," he said. "I believe this initiative has proven its value, at least from my perspective it has enriched my life and grown my abilities."
In addition, Brown added their arrival to Lawton gave his family something they had been seeking at postings around the world a home.
"It's tough for us to leave our friends and my colleagues," he said. "I leave here thinking I'm a Fires Soldier."