By Jeff Crawley, Fort Sill TribuneJuly 27, 2017
FORT SILL, Okla. (July 27, 2017) -- A field artillery officer who has had numerous assignments here, and who described this post as his family's Army home, has returned as the Fires Center of Excellence and Fort Sill chief of staff.
Col. Todd Wasmund, his wife, Tracy, and family were welcomed during a reveille ceremony July 21, in front of McNair Hall. Dozens of post and community leaders, service members, Department of Army civilians, family and friends attended the 9 a.m. ceremony.
"It is good to be home in Oklahoma. This is where Tracy is from," said Wasmund, who was most recently the 3rd Infantry Division Artillery commander, at Fort Stewart, Ga. "We are so very, very happy to be back."
Wasmund replaced Col. Paul Hossenlopp, who retired June 30.
In his invocation, Installation Command Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Jimmy Nichols said: "Oh, Mighty God ... we pray for your empowerment to make him (Wasmund) more than equal to all that lies ahead. Bless him and his family as they settle into their new home. May they be surrounded by choice friends, and very quickly feel a sense of community."
French for "wake up," Reveille is a traditional military ceremony that provides an opportunity to show respect to the U.S. flag, the country and service members past and present, said program narrator Mike Simmons, Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security chief of ceremonies.
Maj. Gen. Brian McKiernan, FCoE and Fort Sill commanding general, welcomed back the Wasmunds, noting that many may remember him as the FCoE director of Strategic Communications in 2012.
The general described Wasmund as a combat-seasoned, accomplished leader, and that he felt blessed to bring him on board. He said a commander always needs to have one officer who has a calming effect on him or her.
"Todd is the quintessential calming effect in any storm."
McKiernan, working with the Field and Air Defense Artillery school commandants, said he was given carte blanche in selecting his chief of staff.
"We selected you above every other post-command O-6 from the air defense artillery and field artillery (community) because you are exactly the leader that we need," McKiernan said to Wasmund.
McKiernan added that the FCoE chief of staff position can be an impetus to great things.
Having seen the portraits in McNair Hall, the general noted that he lost count after 15, of former FCoE chiefs of staff who have gone on to become general officers.
"Somewhere around five, I lost count of the number of former chiefs of staff who would later become the commanding general of the Fires Center of Excellence," he said. "That's the level of talent that we just selected to be our chief of staff."
FCoE CHIEF OF STAFF
Wasmund thanked McKiernan for selecting him, and said he was excited when the general called him about the position.
"I have long admired several of my former commanders, mentors and other leaders, who have served as the chief of staff here," said Wasmund, who is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy. "It's humbling to have the opportunity to follow, in the case of several who are in attendance today, in your footsteps," he said, "and, to be part of the Fires Center of Excellence as we lead the way in how the Army thinks about being ready to win against our determined adversaries today, and in the future.
"In my recent experience with the Third Infantry Division, much of our success in training and in operations around the world, and the lessons we learned during Warfighters and other exercises the past couple years were made possible by the important work that's done right here at Fort Sill, by many of you."
Though too numerous to mention by name, Wasmund acknowledged with gratefulness all those who supported him over the years to make the events of the day possible.
He went on to thank his family, and Tracy.
"She is like so many other Army spouses who selflessly support their Soldiers as we support and serve our Army and our nation together," he said.
Afterward, the Wasmunds were congratulated during a reception in McNair Hall as they mingled with guests.