Edens takes reins of USACR/Safety Center
June 28, 2012
FORT RUCKER, Ala. (June 28, 2012) -- The former deputy commander of the U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence returned to Fort Rucker and assumed command of the U.S. Army Combat Readiness/Safety Center during a ceremony June 22.
Brig. Gen. Timothy J. Edens, incoming USACR/Safety Center commander, assumed command as the organization's colors were passed to him from Lt. Gen. William J. Troy, director of the Army staff, from outgoing commander, Brig. Gen. William T. Wolf, to signify the transfer of command.
"I look forward to working with the exceptional Soldiers and civilians who provide the research, education, tools and resources our Army and commanders need to maximize effectiveness from a squad to the highest tactical level by expertly managing risk in complex environments," said Edens. "The mission of ensuring the safety of our Army's most valuable assets, our Soldiers and their Family members, is an honor and a duty that I eagerly accept."
Edens began his Army career in 1981 after graduating from the U.S. Military Academy and after he completed the Armor Officer Basic Course and Army Flight School, was assigned as the section leader, supply officer and attack platoon leader for A Company, 1st Aviation Battalion, Fort Riley, Kan.
His career as a leader, which ranged from commander of the 6th Squadron, 6th Cavalry, in Illesheim, Germany, to his most recent assignment as deputy commanding general for Support, 2nd Infantry Division, in the Republic of Korea, more than qualified Edens to command the USACR/Safety Center, according to Troy.
"His experience in multiple divisions [and] different staff levels here in the states, overseas and deployed locations, have given him the insight to deal with the challenges of very demanding operations," he said. "Tim knows the challenges that the U.S. Army Combat Readiness/Safety Center must face each day and today we pass that huge responsibility into his very capable hands."
Wolf, who is retiring after commanding the organization for almost four years, also shared the confidence that Troy had in the incoming commander.
"Tim has seen and done much in his long career," said the outgoing commander. "[He] brings a fresh perspective to the safety center, unmatched by nearly anyone in our Army today. He values duty, country and Family above all else and I have no doubt that the safety center will flourish and continue to thrive under his solid leadership."
The change of command came at a "remarkable time for U.S. Army safety" when the work that the safety center has done in the past decade has reduced preventable accidents during a time of war, which Troy said was almost unheard of in the history of the Army.
"We've been at war for the past 10 years, we've had an incredibly high operations tempo, yet, the Soldiers and civilians here [at the safety center] have reduced accident fatalities over the last 6 years," he said. "We've experienced … a continuous drop in accidental fatalities every year since 2005 and we're now approaching levels that we were at before the war started."
The way that the safety center achieved this was through education, Troy added. Educating Soldiers on proper safety while on and off duty and having them understand that sometimes the greatest danger to a Soldier can be themselves.
"Today's the beginning of the next chapter in the safety center's history -- history that is marked by an enduring effort to safeguard our courageous men and women in uniform," said Wolf. "There is no nobler goal than saving the lives of our brothers and sisters in arms. You could not ask for a better assignment."
Edens expressed his excitement and eagerness to take on his new responsibility, but also for him and his wife, Leslie, to be back in the Fort Rucker area.
"Leslie and I are excited to become active participants in the Wiregrass community once again," he said. "Nowhere else does an Army installation enjoy as much support from its surrounding communities as Fort Rucker. I pledge my very best efforts to contribute to the incredible work of so many before me."