By Wallace McBride, Fort Jackson LeaderAugust 29, 2013
FORT JACKSON, S.C. -- The Soldier Support Institute welcomed its new commander last week.
Col. Todd Garlick relinquished command to Col. (Promotable) Paul Chamberlain during a ceremony Aug. 22 at the SSI auditorium. Chamberlain and wife, Lara, come to Fort Jackson from Washington, where he previously served as the acting director, Operations and Support, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Financial Management and Comptroller).
"Lara and I are extremely happy and delighted to be here and hope to continue to add to the success and sustain the traditions and professions of CASCOM, Fort Jackson and the Soldier Support Institute," Chamberlain told the audience during last week's ceremony. "To my family and friends -- thank you for sharing this day with us. As the saying goes, it takes a village to raise a child. Thank you for helping to get me to this point."
Chamberlain was commissioned into the Army in May 1988 upon graduation from Clemson University.
Major Gen. Larry Wyche, commanding general, Combined Arms Support Command, said the SSI will benefit from Chamberlain's extensive leadership experience.
"The Soldiers, civilians and families of the Soldier Support Institute are in good hands. Paul understands the importance of support to the warfighter, and he's a proven leader who brings in an exceptional combination of talent and experience to the position," Wyche said. "He knows the value of training and understands leader development, and will continue to move the Soldier Support Institute forward in the 21st century."
Garlick has served as interim SSI commander since April, taking over after the departure of former SSI Commanding General Brig. Gen. David MacEwen. Garlick is returning to his position as commandant of the Adjutant General School.
"Approximately five months ago, we called upon Col. Todd Garlick to bring his considerable talents and skills as the commandant of the Adjutant General School, up to the commandant of the Soldier Support Institute," Wyche said. "Without hesitation, he did. And today, Todd, I want to thank you for leading this magnificent organization, taking on this mission with no loss in momentum during the transition."
"I know when we first discussed how long I'd assume command, we were originally talking in days and weeks before we thought a successor would come," Garlick said. "Today, five and a half months later, I'm grateful for that experience. I believe it will make me a better commandant. You have allowed me to represent SSI and to have a voice with our senior leadership, and to stay informed of the strategic vector of TRADOC and our Army. And, as I assume a subordinate role as the commandant of the AG school, know that I go better prepared ... as we tackle the realities of fiscal uncertainty and the Army in transition."
Chamberlain's awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Award, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Joint Commendation Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, the Joint Service Achievement Medal, the Army Achievement Medal, the Iraqi Campaign Medal, and the Humanitarian Service Medal. He has also earned the Special Forces Tab, Ranger Tab, the Expert Infantry Badge, the Parachutist Badge, the Air Assault Badge, the Joint Staff Identification Badge and the Army Staff Identification Badge.
The Soldier Support Institute was established in 1973 at Fort Benjamin Harrison, Ind., one of three combat and training development integrating centers assigned to TRADOC.
The SSI relocated to Fort Jackson in 1994, and today comprises the Adjutant General, Finance, Recruiting and Retention Schools, the NCO Academy, and the Army Element of the School of Music. The mission of the SSI is to train and educate human resource management, financial management, recruiting and retention, postal operations and music in support of Soldiers, civilians and leaders.