By Bob McElroy IMCOMJuly 6, 2017
CAMP HUMPHREYS, South Korea -- Col. Joseph C. Holland completed a whirlwind two years in command of U.S. Army Garrison Humphreys on June 27 when he passed command to Col. Scott W. Mueller at the Collier Community Fitness Center here.
Mueller, an Armor officer, comes to Humphreys from the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania. This is his first assignment in Korea.
During Holland's command Humphreys doubled in size, grew in population by 10,000 and opened a host of new facilities and roads.
When he took command of Camp Humphreys on June 15, 2015, the population was about 14,000, today it rests at nearly 25,000 with more Soldiers, Families and Civilians to come. By the time Transformation is complete in a few years the population will be about 42,000.
Installation Management Command director Dr. Christine Altendorf praised Holland for his ability to command the garrison and manage the irreversible momentum of Transformation.
"Many of you have witnessed the steady progress and exceptional achievements that have occurred during the past two years under the focused leadership of Joe Holland," Altendorf said. "Joe has continued that irreversible momentum and facilitated the continued success of this installation."
Holland continued the changes that moved Humphreys beyond the single Soldier post where unaccompanied Soldiers served one-year tours to a regional and global power projection platform for the United States and Korea.
"Working side by side with our partners at the U.S. Forces Korea Transformation and Restationing Office, Eighth Army, the Republic of Korea Ministry of National Defense-U.S. Forces Korea Relocation Office and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Far East District, this garrison has not only continued to support one of the largest construction programs in the history of the Defense Department, you have created a community with strong bonds that extend outside the gates and construction sites of this installation into the Pyeongtaek Community and throughout the Republic of Korea," Altendorf said.
Altendorf praised Holland for his ability to tell the Humphreys Transformation story to many audiences: distinguished visitors, members of the American, Korean and International press, community groups, future residents, employees and families.
"These seamless efforts have enhanced operations and improved our community and relationships throughout Korea and the Pacific Region," she said. "This alliance, our country, the service members and families of the garrison here and our IMCOM team owe you a debt of enormous gratitude."
Altendorf thanked Laura Holland and praised her for supporting her husband and her contributions to the garrison and the alliance.
"The strength of our Army community is sustained and enhanced through the support of our spouses and families," she said. "Your many contributions to the garrison and this alliance will last long after you depart."
Turning to Mueller, Altendorf said his career achievements prove he is the right leader to continue the progress of Transformation at Camp Humphreys.
"The task is now yours to build on the work of Joe Holland and his predecessors. Make this garrison your own and lead Humphreys into the next phase of its Transformation," Altendorf said. "I have every confidence in your ability to do so and I look forward to working with you as we continue the great strides that have occurred in not only the last two years but throughout the more than 60 years of the ROK-U.S. alliance."
Holland spoke next, noting that commanding the garrison while also managing Transformation challenged him like no job had.
"Wow, what a journey these last two years have been. When I took command in June of 2015 Dr. Altendorf told me that I came to Humphreys at a great time, and it would provide great challenges, and even greater rewards," Holland said.
"Well ma'am, you could not have been more prescient or correct. Command of USAG Humphreys has challenged me in ways I could never have imagined but I have grown tremendously as an officer, commander and as a person."
Holland said that he has learned much of great value, but perhaps the most important thing is that the work we do with our ROK allies is what really matters.
"Most of us know that progress comes when people break through barriers and look each other in the eye; the Koreans call it: 'Maju bogo', seeing one another as equals, eye to eye," he said. "This enhances mutual understanding in achieving the commander's intent. Of importance, is the greater outcome: we become more than allies, we become friends."
Holland praised the Korean people and the friends he made in the local community who have done so much for Humphreys' Soldiers, Families and Civilians.
"You are true friends to Camp Humphreys and the U.S. Army and I will never forget your generosity and your friendship and once again, 'Kam sahm ni da.'"
Holland told his successor, Mueller that commanding Humphreys during a time of change requires focused leadership. He asked the Humphreys community to support Mueller and his family as well as they had him.
"This is a great time to be here and I wish you, Col. Mueller, Francy and your boys all the best. You're in for the time of your lives," he said.
Mueller's 23-year Army career includes service with the 2nd Infantry Division at Fort Lewis, Washington and Iraq, the 1st Infantry Division, Fort Riley, Kansas, command of an Armor company in Vilseck, Germany and command of the 1st Battalion 15th Infantry, 3rd Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Georgia. He is 1994 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, New York.
Mueller said he was thrilled to take command of Humphreys at this time in its growth and development. He joked that many of the units in which he's served are no longer active.
"So, I'm thrilled to be taking command of an organization that is actually growing," he said with a smile. "I look forward to building on the work that Col. Holland and the garrison have done over the last two years as we continue to build and transform."
Mueller thanked the Hollands for their support, generosity and constant communication over the past year as his family made the transition to Korea.
"You set the standard for how to conduct a transition and Francy and I greatly appreciate your candor and especially your patience with our many questions," he said.
Mueller said he looks forward to serving in Korea for the next two years.
"One Team -- One Fight, Sustain, Support and Defend, Pacific Victors, katchi-kapshida, Eagle 6 signing on the net."