ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. - The U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command ushered in new leadership at Aberdeen Proving Ground during a change of command ceremony Dec. 5 at the installation's National Guard Armory.
Maj. Gen. Paul S. Izzo assumed command of RDECOM from Maj. Gen. Fred D. Robinson, who spent 18 months leading the organization. As the senior mission commander at APG, Izzo also fills the installation's senior leadership role.
Gen. Benjamin S. Griffin, former commander of the U.S. Army Materiel Command, hosted the ceremony and presented Izzo with the unit colors. Griffin said Izzo is well-equipped to lead RDECOM.
"He's the right man at the right place at the right time," said Griffin. "He knows more about lifecycle management commands and support to the Soldier than any commander that I know in the field today."
Griffin expressed his gratitude to Robinson for emphasizing his Warfighters focus upon the strong technology foundation at RDECOM.
"General Robinson and his wife Reva have been a fantastic command team here and have taken RDECOM to a new level," he said.
Robinson, who retired after the formal change of command ceremony, said the Army has taken significant strides throughout his career.
"I stand here with enormous pride - not self pride but pride in being part of an Army for the last 32 years that has accepted unbelievable challenges and moved forward at every hurdle," he said.
Robinson said leading RDECOM was a tremendous experience because of the people associated with the command.
"All of you have touched this poor Soldier's life and that of his family. No matter where we are, y'all will always be in our hearts," he said.
He then addressed Izzo, stating that he would lead an organization with a dedicated workforce.
"They give all of themselves without concern for their own person - they build, they team, they explore and all for the Soldier of today and tomorrow," he said. "Our Army is in great hands with these individuals."
Izzo comes to RDECOM after serving as the Deputy for Acquisition and Systems Management under the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology.
Izzo vowed to build on RDECOM's reputation for serving the Soldier through innovations in science and technology.
"It is an immense privilege for me to be able to continue to serve our Army and serve you as the next commander of RDECOM," said Izzo. "I am humbled by the great care and pride which all of you in this superb organization exhibit."
Izzo added that he and his wife Kathleen were happy to return to APG after spending three years at the installation in the early 1980's.
The ceremony marked only the 3rd change of command in RDECOM's brief history.
During the event, the AMC Band's Brass Quintet performed while the Ordnance Mechanical Maintenance School, 16th Ordnance Battalion, served as the salute battery.
Following the change of command ceremony, Robinson was awarded with the Distinguished Service Medal while his wife Reva received the Commander's Award for Public Service. Griffin then presented Robinson with his certificate of retirement.
Robinson became commander of RDECOM in June of 2007. Under Robinson's leadership, RDECOM fielded more than 50 technologies which provide increased capabilities to Soldiers and help save lives. He instituted a process to integrate the command's research and development portfolio and maximize the benefits of its science and technology investments. Robinson also began implementing APG 2012 - a series of initiatives emphasizing improvements to quality of life, facilities, infrastructure, and services.
Maj. Gen. Paul S. Izzo
Major General Izzo is a native of Saratoga Springs, New York. He received his commission in 1975 as a second lieutenant in Armor following graduation from St. Bonaventure University where he earned a bachelor's degree in Business Administration. Major General Izzo earned a master's degree in Management Science from Central Michigan University in 1987. His military education includes Airborne School, Armor Officer Basic and Advanced Course, Command and General Staff College, Defense Systems Management College, and the U.S. Army War College.
Prior to serving as RDECOM commanding general, Major General Izzo was Deputy for Acquisition and Systems Management under the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology. He previously served as the Commander, Joint Munitions and Lethality Life Cycle Management Command, Program Executive Officer for Army Ammunition, and Commanding General of Picatinny Arsenal, New Jersey.
Other assignments include the Deputy for Systems Acquisition for the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command; Project Manager for the Bradley Fighting Vehicle System; Executive Officer to the Military Deputy to the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Research, Development, and Acquisition), Operations Officer for 3-37 Armor, 1st Infantry Division during the Gulf War; Aide de Camp; Operations Officer and Company Commander 2-37 Armor, 1st Armored Division; and Battalion Maintenance Officer, Tank Company Executive Officer and Tank Platoon Leader, 1st Infantry Division.
Major General Izzo's awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit (with 2 oak leaf clusters), the Bronze Star with valor device and one oak leaf cluster, and the Meritorious Service Medal (with five oak leaf clusters).