Change of command
Col. Thomas Rivard, incoming commander, 59th Ordnance Brigade, takes the guidon from Col. Edward M. Daly, Ordnance School commandant, during the 59th Ord. Bde. change of command ceremony June 29 at Whittington Field, Ordnance Campus.

FORT LEE, Va. (JULY 5, 2012) -- The 59th Ordnance Brigade conducted a change of command ceremony Friday at Whittington Field on the Ordnance Campus.

Col. Pharisse Berry, outgoing commander, handed the reins to Col. Thomas Rivard during the event overseen by Col. Edward M. Daly, Ordnance School commandant.

Berry served as the 61st Ord. Bde. commander before it deactivated in October 2010. He then took command of the 59th Bde. and had a great deal of impact on the Ordnance School as it completed its BRAC realignment to Fort Lee, said Daly.

"For the past few years, Pharisse Berry has led the charging efforts that endured as we provide and have provided the operational Army with well trained, highly agile and motivated Ordnance warriors," he said. "I am grateful for the fact that he has commanded at a time when the challenges and mission required nothing less than an experienced, committed, selfless and outstanding leader.

"You have definitely demonstrated that excellence is not a single act … and that leadership is not just about position, but attitude and action," Daly noted.

In ceremony speeches such as these, said Berry, many will run through a list of accomplishments for the outgoing commander, and he said he did appreciate the kind words by Daly.

"But when I look back on the last 24 months, I don't think of the things that we accomplished at the brigade since my arrival, I think about all the people -- Soldiers and civilians -- who made those accomplishments happen," Berry said. "Sure, I'm proud of everything the 59th Ordnance Brigade has accomplished since its arrival here at Fort Lee, but it could not have happened if it weren't for those dedicated professionals who planned, argued, collaborated, coordinated and executed to ensure we completed the BRAC mandate on time."

He also had some words of advice for the incoming commander, Rivard.

"Make sure you know the words to the Ordnance Song," he joked. "Command Sgt. Maj. Sultan Muhammad will be watching and by the time you leave here, you will be able to sing it in your sleep."

Daly welcomed the team of Rivard and his wife, Amy, during the ceremony. The Rivards most recently served at the Army War College at Carlisle Barracks, Pa.

"Tom is the perfect choice for this command," Daly said. "He understands the importance of support to the warfighter and is a leader who brings an extraordinary combination of talent and experience to the position."

Rivard thanked his Family, friends and fellow military members for attending the ceremony and stressed the importance of their mission.

"Our mission is to train world class Ordnance Soldiers who can contribute immediately to our world class Army," he said. "Our mission is immensely important.

"I pledge to provide you the best leadership that I can as we work toward the priorities given to us," Rivard said. "Just as I hope you will give the best working for me, you can expect that I will give the best working for you."

Page last updated Thu July 12th, 2012 at 00:00