By Honey E. Nixon, U.S. Army Garrison Japan Public AffairsJuly 23, 2017
CAMP ZAMA, Japan (July 23, 2017) - Col. Phillip K. Gage assumed command of U.S. Army Garrison Japan during a change-of-command ceremony held July 21 at Camp Zama's Yano Field. Gage replaced Col. William B. Johnson, who served as USAG Japan's garrison commander since July 2015.
Johnson will leave Camp Zama and assume responsibility as deputy director of U.S. Army Installation Management Command Pacific, Hawaii.
Dr. Christine T. Altendorf, regional director of IMCOM-Pacific, commended Johnson on his, "commitment to facilitating open dialogues, continuous training," and how his, "focus on readiness," has allowed the USAG Japan community to continue a constant pursuit of greatness.
Altendorf also thanked Johnson for the numerous accomplishments during his tenure including his workforce development efforts and infrastructure improvements.
"Will, your commitment to workforce development was unsurpassed and you built a superior and synchronized team of teams," she said.
"Your ability to leverage your resources and create an environment that has helped sustain and server our Soldiers, employees and Families is second to none," Altendorf concluded.
Johnson reflected on his two-year command by saying, "two years have flown by incredibly fast. It seems just yesterday the Johnson family first arrived in Japan and joined this amazing community."
"We have had so many incredible experiences and made such wonderful friends. It's impossible for me to recount them all," he continued.
Johnson went on to thank the "dedicated IMCOM professionals," local Japanese dignitaries, and the local community members.
"A special thanks for all you did to include my family in the many cultural and community events I attended," he said. "They are what have truly made this a special command tour for us and taught us so much about your culture, your communities, and this wonderful country."
Johnson then welcomed the incoming commander.
"You... have a tremendous adventure ahead of you," said Johnson, "embrace it."
Johnson told Gage that he now have the best professionals in IMCOM ready to support and train him in USAG Japan business.
"Listen, learn, and lead; you will do well," Johnson said.
Gage expressed excitement about his new command.
"Our reception here has been tremendous," said Gage. "On behalf of my family, thank you all for the warm welcomes we have received. We are truly honored by the opportunity to join such a special community."
"You just want to do the best job you can, and that's what I'm looking forward to doing," said Gage of his hopes for his tenure.
"I want to make sure that we continue to do the mission to the same high standard that it's been done so far and improve upon that," he concluded.