Brig. Gen. Maria Gervais assumed the commandancy of the U.S. Army Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear School, becoming the 28th Chief of Chemical in a ceremony held at the Maneuver Support Center of Excellence Plaza Tuesday.

Maj. Gen. Leslie Smith, MSCoE and Fort Leonard Wood commanding general presided over the ceremony.

Smith welcomed Gervais and her Family back to Fort Leonard Wood, telling her that the Army carefully chooses its commanders and leaders.

"You are the very best in the Army for this position and will be valuable to the regiment and center as we continue transitioning our Army," Smith said.

"Your experiences, character and competences truly make you the perfect fit for this position at this time," he added.

Gervais thanked those attending and told them that there is no better installation or community than Fort Leonard Wood.

"I can't even begin to tell you just how good it feels to be back home here at Fort Leonard Wood and just how thrilled we are to be joining the great Maneuver Support Center of Excellence team," Gervais said. "Chris and I consider ourselves extremely blessed to be assigned here again."

Gervais made a pledge to the regiment.

"My pledge to you and this regiment is that I will strive each and every day to live up to the trust, confidence and expectations that have been placed in me," Gervais said. "My goal is to never let you, the regiment, or our Army down."

"I stand before you extremely honored, grateful and yet very humbled to have been given this opportunity to serve as the 28th Chief of Chemical and Commandant of the U.S. Army Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear School, especially during such an historic time within our Army and during a time when the future is so uncertain," Gervais added.

"To me, there is no greater honor than to lead the Dragon Soldiers, civilians and Family members of the CBRN Regiment," Gervais said.

Smith commended Col. Jeffrey Brodeur, USACBRNS assistant commandant, on the great job he did as acting commandant for the past four months.

"You are an outstanding leader and have done a great job keeping continuity with all training, leader development, proponency and other initiatives with Army-level visibility," Smith said. "Well done and thank you for your service and everything you have done for Fort Leonard Wood and the Army."

Gervais' previous assignment was as the deputy commanding general of U.S. Army Cadet Command and Fort Knox, Ky.

This is her second time at Fort Leonard Wood. Gervais was the first female to lead the 82nd Chemical Battalion and is also a former chief of staff for the U.S. Army Chemical School and Maneuver Support Center of Excellence.