By Jason B. Cutshaw, USASMDC/ARSTRAT Public AffairsJanuary 5, 2017
REDSTONE ARSENAL, Alabama -- Lt. Gen. James H. Dickinson assumed command of the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command and the Joint Functional Component Command for Integrated Missile Defense from Lt. Gen. David L. Mann during a Change of Command conducted in the Von Braun III auditorium Jan. 5.
During the ceremony, Gen. Daniel B. Allyn, Army vice chief of staff, accepted the USASMDC/ARSTRAT colors from Mann and passed them to Dickinson. Following the ceremony, he took a moment to thank Mann for all he has done for the Army and the command.
"The reason that Dave has been able to make such an impact, whether as a lieutenant in Hawaii or as a lieutenant general here at SMDC/ARSTRAT, is because he takes care of people both inside and outside his organization," Allyn said. "He has a level of empathy, a genuine care and concern for others, that inspires excellence. And he regularly goes out of his way for people, selflessly serving, because that's what inspiring leaders do. Dave Mann reveled in the opportunity to lead, building trust with those he served and taking care of people along the way. He tackled his role with an enthusiasm that inspired everyone around him.
"For those who have known Dave Mann for a long time, his reputation and ability to see others' priorities come as no surprise," he added. "Dave, you bore more than your share of the task. Thank you, and congratulations on behalf of a grateful Army and a grateful nation. I am proud of you; proud to have shared service with you; proud to call you warrior, brother and friend."
Allyn welcomed Dickinson and challenged him to build upon the SMDC legacy.
"We are fortunate to have newly minted Lt. Gen. Jim Dickinson and his wonderful spouse, Angie, ready to assume the mantle of leadership," Allyn said. "Jim is well-known and highly respected throughout the Air Defense Artillery community, and for more than three decades he has held a variety of critical positions. Jim Dickinson is uniquely qualified to command this great organization because he understands, from his time at U.S. Strategic Command and his diverse air and missile defense assignments, the unique role that space and missile defense forces play in our joint force.
"Leaders of character build trust within their units so that when the chips are down Soldiers will continue to fight," he added. "Jim - completely committed to his Soldiers, his family and our country - has taken this to heart. Jim and Angie, welcome. We look forward to working with you in the coming months on issues of great importance to our Army and our nation, and we know that you will lead SMDC/ARSTRAT with singular distinction. We wish you the very best of luck as you navigate through the challenges and capitalize on the abundant opportunities ahead."
As the event continued, Air Force Gen. John E. Hyten, commander, U.S. Strategic Command, or USSTRATCOM, presided over part of the ceremony where Dickinson assumed command of Joint Functional Component Command for Integrated Missile Defense, or JFCC IMD.
The SMDC commanding general also serves as commander for the JFCC IMD and provides the USSTRATCOM commander with synchronized missile defense plans, conducts ballistic missile defense, or BMD, operations support and advocates for missile defense capabilities to deter and defend the United States, deployed forces and its allies against ballistic missile attacks.
Hyten thanked Mann for his service to the nation and those who serve at SMDC.
"For the past three and a half years, Lt. Gen. Dave Mann has guided these dedicated service members and civilians with a steady hand," Hyten said. "In your time here at SMDC/ARSTRAT and JFCC IMD, your exceptional leadership has made a tremendous impact on this organization.
"To the strategic warriors of SMDC/ARSTRAT, congratulations and well done," he added. "I cannot underscore the importance of JFCC-IMD in supporting our nation's security."
SMDC serves as the Army Service Component Command to USSTRATCOM. ARSTRAT conducts space and missile defense operations and provides planning, integration, control and coordination of Army forces and capabilities in support of USSTRATCOM missions of strategic deterrence, integrated missile defense, space operations and cyberspace operations.
Hyten congratulated Dickinson and said he looks forward to serving with him.
"He is imminently qualified to take command of this prestigious organization," Hyten said. "Jim, I know you are going to bring the same visionary leadership and innovative solutions to this command that you brought to all your previous assignments. I very much look forward to working with you and the stellar professionals at both JFCC IMD and SMDC/ARSTRAT."
In a separate ceremony before the Change of Command, Allyn promoted Dickinson from major general to lieutenant general.
During the Change of Command, Dickinson thanked everyone for their kind words and said he and his wife, Angie, look forward to working with the Soldiers, civilians and family members of the SMDC community.
"I am humbled and honored by this opportunity and eagerly accept the responsibilities inherent in command of SMDC/ARSTRAT and JFCC IMD," Dickinson said. "I recognize the unique and substantial role these commands have with our Army, with U.S. Strategic Command, and with the geographic combatant commanders that we support. We are a great command with a terrific reputation across the Army, the joint force and throughout the Department of Defense.
"To the dedicated, talented and selfless Soldiers, civilians, and contractors of SMDC/ARSTRAT and to the Soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and civilians of JFCC IMD, Angie and I are proud and honored to join your team, and we look forward to serving alongside you," he added.
Mann took command in August 2013, and as he addressed the audience one last time. He talked about not only the Army he is leaving, but also the SMDC family he said he will miss.
"To my SMDC/ARSTRAT and JFCC IMD teammates, I want to personally thank you for your support to the Warfighter and for the incredible talent and dedication you exhibit every day," Mann added. "I could not be more proud of you and what you represent."
Mann also thanked his family for their support and told them how much they have meant to him during his years of service. He then talked about his wife, Robyn, and said he looks forward to their next adventure.
"For my better half, thank you for your unconditional love and support, despite my many faults and shortcomings," Mann said. "You are without a doubt, the kindest, most caring and compassionate person I know. I love you so very much and I just want to say 'Thank You.'"