Col. James E. Davis assumed command of the U.S. Army Garrison Aberdeen Proving Ground during a change of command ceremony at the APG post theater July 22. Davis succeeds Col. Gregory R. McClinton who served as the APG Garrison Commander for three years. Davis D. Tindoll Jr., director, Atlantic Region, Installation Management Command (IMCOM) served as the reviewing officer.
Tindoll led the passing of the garrison colors from McClinton to Davis, symbolizing the transfer of authority from the outgoing commander to the incoming commander. He was assisted by Garrison Command Sgt. Maj. Jeffrey O. Adams.
Guests included Lt. Gen. Robert Ferrell, U.S. Army Chief Information Officer, G-6; Lt. Gen. Karen Dyson, Military Deputy for Budget, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Financial Management and Comptroller); APG Senior Commander Maj. Gen. Bruce T. Crawford, U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command; Brig. Gen. William King IV, commander, 20th CBRNE Command (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosives); Command Sgt. Maj. Harold Dunn, 20th CBRNE Command; Karen Taylor, chief of Staff, U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command representing Maj. Gen. Daniel Karbler, ATEC commander; and Maryland Gold Star mothers.
State and local officials in attendance included state Sens. Robert Cassilly and J.B. Jennings; Bart Kennedy representing Sen. Barbara Mikulski; Mary O'Keefe, attending for Rep. Andy Harris; retired U.S. Marine Corps Brig. Gen. Michael Hayes, director of Military and Federal Affairs, Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development; Harford County Executive Barry Glassman; and members of the Harford County and Havre de Grace City councils.
A special guest of the ceremony was Vietnam veteran and Distinguished Service Cross awardee, retired Command Sgt. Maj. Morris Worley.
The ceremony included the posting of the colors by the APG Directorate of Emergency Services color guard led by Sgt. Steve Lukasik, the invocation by Garrison Chaplain Lt. Col. Jerry L. Owens and the national anthem by Courtney White of the U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command.
Janet Dettwiler, garrison director of Human Resources, served as the narrator.
Tindoll said he felt privileged to serve Soldiers and their families and equally privileged to preside over the ceremony. He thanked Crawford for his support of IMCOM and the garrison team, and McClinton and his wife Vicky for their three years as the garrison command team. He also welcomed Davis and his wife Michelle to their new command.
Calling McClinton the "consummate professional," Tindoll said he more than lived up to the expectations of garrison leadership.
"You have provided the best possible service to the APG community and have made the Soldiers, civilians and their families believe they live, work and play on the best installation in the Army," he told McClinton. "You have made a lasting impression on this community of excellence. Well done."
Noting that Davis comes to APG from the National War College, Tindoll said he is "ready to take on the challenges of running a small city."
"I am confident that with your demonstrated leadership you will build on the success of your predecessors," he said.
"The challenges are many and I am confident you will bring new energy and excellence to the garrison command and this Army Community of Excellence."
Col. Gregory R. McClinton began his remarks by thanking his wife, Vicky, daughter Chelsea and son Greg. Jr. as well as his extended family member, senior leaders in attendance as well as past, and state and local public servants and politicians for their support.
He said that he looks back on the past three years at APG with pride.
"Not because of what I did-- but rather because of the thousands of men and women working here who dedicate themselves to ensuring warfighters and those the Department of the Army and Department of Defense support --in peace and in war -- are resourced to defend our nations freedom."
"Each of you epitomize the Army profession," he added. "You, as professional Soldiers and civilians of the United States Army, [are] bonded by your service to the nation in a shared identity and culture of sacrifice and service. I am truly proud to have served alongside each and every one of you."
McClinton expressed particular thanks to leadership.
To Mr. Tindoll and IMCOM Command Sgt. Maj. Sullivan, he said, "The army owes you a debt of gratitude for your leadership of the Atlantic Region and the influence you have had on army installation management and our sister services."
McClinton expressed heartfelt appreciation to present and former senior commanders Crawford and Ferrell and their spouses for, "leading this diverse installation of professionals through the challenge of not serving under the same parent command, yet accomplishing the greater goal of ensuring support to those who support the Warfighter on the installation," as well as those in surrounding communities.
McClinton tried not to leave any facet of the garrison unrecognized. He thanked his current and former battle buddies - Adams, former deputy Glenn Wait and retired Command Sgt. Maj. James Ervin -- for, "driving change across the entire organization. I could not have asked for a better group of professionals to lead with," he said.
He added sincere thanks to community partners in Aberdeen, Edgewood, Havre de Grace, Be Air, and the surrounding counties of Harford, Cecil, Kent, and Baltimore, as well as supporting organizations such as the Army Alliance and the Chesapeake Science and Security Corridor.
"Very few people understand the level at which you carry the APG story," he said. Be it in the halls of Congress or in business and industry, this installation would not be where it is today without you."
To commercial partners such as Saint John Properties, Corvias Military Living and defense contractors such as Johnson Controls, he said, "thank you for bringing your resources to bear in our joint effort to find solutions at the best value to the installation and the tax payer."
McClinton offered special thanks to his garrison team, who he called "a dedicated group of men and women who serve in support of those who fight and win our nation's battles," and to his directors, who he praised for their professionalism and for "carrying the heavy load that often times goes unnoticed."
He praised activities such as the chapel staff, the Exchange, the Commissary, the Civilian Personnel Advisory Center and Kirk U.S. Army Health Clinic, heaping special praises on his personal staff for being there for he and his wife, Vicky.
"You have made my assignment very special and you will always hold a special place in my heart," he said.
To Col. Davis, McClinton said, that the guidon he passed to him represented "the collective pride and spirit of all Soldiers and civilians -- past and present -- who have served under it."
"I am proud to have been one of them," he said. "And I can tell you, there is more collective experience on Aberdeen Proving Ground than I have seen at any other installation. Your staff are among the best with whom I have ever served. Rely on them, and they will support you as they have me, and you will surely succeed.
"God bless you all, our great nation, and all the men and women who serve so proudly today, and the families who support them," he added in closing.
"You all have honored me with your presence here this morning [and] I hold each and every one of you in great respect. Thank you. Army Strong."
As the new APG garrison commander, Davis will oversee the directorates and activities that ensure the successful operation of the installation, including: installation support offices and services as well as the garrison directorates of Emergency Services; Family & Morale, Welfare and Recreation; Logistics; Plans, Analysis and Integration; Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security; Public Affairs; and Public Works.
During his remarks, Davis recognized the general officers, senior executives and other guests in attendance and offered his thanks to past mentors and noncommissioned officers for their roles in his development, as well as to his wife, Michelle, their three daughters and their extended family members for their continued support.
He called the success of APG a testament to the leadership of McClinton and Adams and said he would utilize the four pillars of success -- Faith, Family, Unit and Self -- to move the Garrison forward.
"I would like to thank Mr. Tindoll and Maj. Gen. Crawford for the opportunity to serve as your garrison commander," he said.
"To the Soldiers and civilians here at APG, thank you for your efforts in putting together today's ceremony. I am honored to join an organization of this caliber [and] I look forward to being a part of the next chapter of APG's rich history with you."
Davis began his career as an Artillery officer in August 1990 after completing the Artillery Officer Basic Course. He transitioned to his functional area as a comptroller in 2004.
His past artillery assignments include 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Kentucky; 82d Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, North Carolina; University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill ROTC Department; and the 1st Infantry Division, Fort Riley, Kansas.
He served as a comptroller at SHAPE Headquarters in Mons, Belgium; in Fort Eustis, Virginia; Naples, Italy; Fort Bragg, North Carolina; and Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
Davis has completed multiple deployments to Operation Desert Storm, Afghanistan, Kosovo, Bosnia, and Iraq.
He is a graduate of Artillery Officer basic and advanced courses, Command and General Staff College, and the Naval War College. He holds a bachelor's degrees from The Citadel, and master's degrees from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and the Naval War College.
His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star, Defense Meritorious Service, Army Meritorious Service, Joint Service Commendation and Army Commendation medals; the Army Achievement, National Defense, Southwest Asia, Global War on Terrorism, and Iraqi and Afghanistan Campaign medals; as well as the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the Humanitarian Service Medal, the Armed Forces Reserve Medal, the Kuwait Liberation Medal, the NATO medal, and the Combat Action, Master Parachutist, and Air Assault badges.
A third generation paratrooper, and a native of North Carolina, Davis and his wife, Michelle have three daughters.