Fort Rucker welcomes new garrison commander
July 19, 2012
FORT RUCKER, Ala. (July 19, 2012) -- Fort Rucker welcomed a new garrison commander and garrison command sergeant major, while bidding farewell to two well-known faces on the installation July 13.
Col. Stuart J. McRae assumed command of the garrison from Col. James A. Muskopf, and Command Sgt. Maj. Buford E. Noland became the new garrison command sergeant major, assuming responsibility from Command Sgt. Maj. Dwaine E. Walters during a change of command and responsibility ceremony at the U.S. Army Aviation Museum.
"Colonel McRae brings to Fort Rucker a wealth of experience from a wide variety of operational and staff assignments," said Davis D. Tindoll Jr., Atlantic Region Installation Management Commander director and guest speaker. "His assignments, extensive experience and military education offer impeccable credentials for garrison command."
McRae is no stranger to Fort Rucker as his prior assignment was as the director of the U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence's Capability and Development Integration Directorate.
"The McRaes have been here for a year and there is nothing but goodness that comes out of that," said Muskopf. "He's had a chance to figure out what Fort Rucker's all about."
The new commander agreed that is a good thing.
"I've had the rare opportunity during this last year to be prepositioned here and be able to observe the interaction between the garrison and the Aviation Center before taking command," McRae said. "I've been able to observe many great leaders that work and see what right looks like from the top down."
McRae began his military career in 1987 when he graduated from Montana State University as a distinguished military graduate, and began his career as a leader when he served as the platoon leader, battalion maintenance officer and assistant S3 for the 9th Infantry Division, Fort Lewis, Wash.
Noland comes to Fort Rucker from Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., where he served as command sergeant major for the 193rd Brigade Support Battalion, 4th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade.
"His military police background gives him special insight into the complexities and challenges of running garrison operations," said Tindoll. "Due to his extensive experiences, he knows the needs of the Soldiers and their Families."
The ceremony was a time to recognize the new garrison commander and command sergeant major, but it was also a time to recognize Muskopf and Walters for the time they served on Fort Rucker.
"Over the past two years, they excelled in overcoming numerous challenges to ensure Fort Rucker made tremendous contributions, not only to Army readiness, but by providing the best possible quality for our team here," said Tindoll.
They achieved this next level of support by refining common levels of service, using detailed performance management reviews and customer feedback to improve the efficiency of base operations support, according to the director.
"This is what right looks like," said McRae about Muskopf's leadership. "The team that you've developed and passed to me is absolutely second to none."
Muskopf said that what they achieved on Fort Rucker was no one-single effort, but a team effort from everyone on his command team, to the people in the surrounding community.
"Philadelphia calls itself the city of brotherly love, but there is no more brotherly love in the world than the brotherly love that the Wiregrass gives to Fort Rucker," he said, adding that he couldn't have asked for a better senior commander to work under than Maj. Gen. Anthony G. Crutchfield, USAACE and Fort Rucker commanding general.
Muskopf will go on to Carlisle Barracks, Penn., as the U.S. Army War College's director of Strategic Plans and Walters will retire from the Army.
McRae said he was ready to take on the challenges as garrison commander and ready to tackle the vision that Crutchfield has set for the future of the Aviation Branch and Fort Rucker.
"I appreciate the confidence that [Crutchfield] has shown … and I take his visions to heart," he said. "I recognize that the most important and valuable resource that we have here at Fort Rucker is not our aircraft or our systems -- it's our people."