FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. -- Col. Nancy Springer, outgoing Marine Corps Detachment Fort Leonard Wood commander, relinquished command to Col. John Giltz, incoming Marine Corps Detachment Fort Leonard Wood commander, Friday on Gammon Field.

"I will miss my Marines and civilian employees, permanent personnel and students alike. The permanent personnel's dedication and feeling for what they do is awesome," Springer said. "I will also miss the Fort Leonard Wood community. I thoroughly enjoyed living and working on this post and taking advantage of all the activities offered. There are so many things to do here on post and in the surrounding area that I just couldn't get to all of them."

Springer's next duty station is Okinawa, Japan. She said while in Fort Leonard she enjoyed watching the transformation that occurs in her junior Marines, as they learned their military occupational skill and matured as new Marines.

"The difference between our new arrivals in Marines Awaiting Training platoon and those about to graduate is startling. Seeing these Marines grow in confidence and self-assuredness is motivating and never got old," Springer said. "Our permanent personnel Marines and civilians are the ones that make this transformation happen. At our detachment everyone is a part of accomplishing our mission; everyone is important and everyone counts, because great private first classes come from great instructors backed up by a great support staff. Last year the Marine Detachment sent almost 5,000 of those great private first classes out to the Fleet."

Springer believes even though Fort Leonard Wood is an Army post, there are limitless opportunities for Marines to excel here.

"Marines like a challenge and there are many ways for them to challenge themselves and each other. Marines have won instructor, warrior and sports contests, as well as set the example as volunteers, both on and off post. It's all there for Marines who want it."

During the ceremony, Giltz said he was eager to start working on post, and honored to be taking over command of a detachment that Springer had taken such good care of.

"I am proud to be your new commanding officer, but more importantly, every day I wake up proud to be a U.S. Marine like you; that's what gets me going in the morning," Giltz said. "To the Garrison Command and Maneuver Support Center of Excellence, I look forward to working with you and seeing Marines and Soldiers working together to do great things as we move forward."

Giltz graduated from the Virginia Military Institute with a BA in history. He also holds a master of science degree in human resource management from Troy State University and a master of arts degree in national security studies from the Naval War College.

His decorations include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal with a gold star in lieu of second award, Meritorious Service Medal with two gold stars, Navy-Marine Corps Commendation Medal with three gold stars and the Navy-Marine Corps Achievement Medal.

He is married to the former Gioia Bozeman, and they have three children, one of which is a lance corporal in the Marine Corps.

Page last updated Wed July 18th, 2012 at 00:00