By Mr. Mike Bowers (Leonard Wood)July 14, 2016
Col. Tracy Lanier took command of the U.S. Army Garrison Fort Leonard Wood during a change-of-command ceremony Tuesday in Nutter Field House.
Lanier replaces Col. Andy Herbst who is being assigned as a U.S. Forces Command Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear officer at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
Joe Capps, Central Region Installation Command director, said commanding a garrison today is tough business, and it requires strong, inspired and inspiring leadership.
"Andy had to work within the direction and guidance provided by the senior mission commander while balancing the realities of a resource-constrained environment," Capps said.
Capps noted the garrison "professionally" supported and sustained a multi-service community of more than 45,000 military personnel, civilians and Family members while simultaneously providing support to training 80,000 service members and civilians.
A revamped newcomer's briefing, executing $72 million in training barracks upgrades and new Family and single Soldier homes, as well as the monthly 5k fun and Family runs were initiatives spearheaded by Herbst.
"I could talk for hours about Andy Herbst's contributions at Fort Leonard Wood, but Andy would tell you that it was the installation team that accomplished the many things that happened here," Capps said.
And so it was, as Herbst thanked the Fort Leonard Wood team and community.
"It takes a caring and engaged community to produce the quality of armed forces required to meet the many challenges of our world and to protect our way of life," Herbst said.
"Without your commitment, dedication and the many sacrifices you make every day, we would not have the resources needed to train, transport, house, feed, equip and protect those men and women we prepare for service each year," Herbst added.
According to Herbst, the ceremony was more about welcoming Lanier and his Family. That changeover process began some time ago.
"Andy reached out more than a year ago to welcome me and my Family into the organization. This is normally not done, but truly a testament to your professionalism and selfless service of this first-class organization," Lanier said to Herbst.
Lanier is a career logistician who began his career as a second lieutenant at Hunter Army Airfield, Georgia. His subsequent assignments were at Fort Bragg; Fort McPherson, Georgia; Fort Campbell, Kentucky; and two assignments in Hawaii at Schofield Barracks and Camp H.M Smith.
The Alabama native's deployments include Operation Restore/Uphold Democracy, Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.
In addition to his military education, Lanier has earned a Master of Arts degree in procurement and acquisition management and a Master of Strategic Studies degree.
His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star and Defense Meritorious Service medals. He is authorized to wear the Parachutist and Parachute Rigger badges.
"My Family and I are delighted to join this great team," Lanier said. "It is with deep gratitude and great humility that I accept the responsibilities of command. I pledge to do my best in accomplishing the mission and caring for each of you."
The event concluded with the Army Song followed by a reception.