By Fort Sill Tribune staffAugust 3, 2018
FORT SILL, Oklahoma (Aug. 3, 2018) -- The Air Defense Artillery School welcomed its 42nd commandant July 26, at a change of responsibility ceremony outside McNair Hall.
Commandant Col. Brian Gibson received the ADA organizational colors symbolizing the transfer of responsibility of the school and the ADA branch from outgoing commandant Brig. Gen. Randall McIntire.
This is Gibson's first assignment at Fort Sill. He worked most recently at the Pentagon as deputy director of Joint Staff Operations Directorate, which oversaw global military operations.
McIntire remains at Fort Sill as the director of the new Cross Functional Team for Air and Missile Defense, a position he's held the past several months.
Maj. Gen. Wilson A. Shoffner, Fires Center of Excellence and Fort Sill commanding general, hosted the ceremony. He highlighted the numerous achievements under McIntire's time as commandant the past two years.
McIntire has led the branch during a time of renewed growth, and renewed emphasis on air and missile defense. He also stood up the Cross Functional Team for Air and Missile Defense, which is one of the Army's top six modernization goals, Shoffner said.
In this capacity, McIntire has a direct line to the Army deputy chief of staff (G-8), Shoffner noted. "Just by reading the conversations (emails) between the two, it is obvious that Randy has the full trust and confidence of every one of the senior leaders.
"What Randy does every day as the commandant, and the Air and Missile Defense Cross Functional Team lead, is make critical decisions, and shape critical efforts, not just in our Army, but for our entire national defense," Shoffner said. The impacts he's made will be felt by the DoD for decades.
The commanding general welcomed the Gibsons, who are coming from the Washington, D.C., area.
"Those of you who have served at the Pentagon know that if a colonel or a one-star (brigadier general) is put in a job that reads 'deputy director for regional operations,' ... that is an indication of that individual's future service, not just as a one-star, but well beyond that," Shoffner said.
"Brian and Cheryl (Gibson), on behalf of the Lawton-Fort Sill community, welcome to the team," Shoffner said.
Gibson said the ceremony was all about the McIntire team.
"Congratulations, we owe you a debt that no one can ever repay, but we're by your side," he said to the McIntires.
The colonel said he and his wife were excited and humbled to be part of the FCoE team, and the Lawton-Fort Sill community for multiple reasons.
"I'm an air defense artilleryman by my trade, so it's good to be back with air defense, and it's great to be in Oklahoma," Gibson said.
Gibson thanked all veterans, past and present.
"Thank you for being here and for what you have done and continue to do," he said. "It's because of you and your service that we continue on."
Afterward, he described his leadership style as, "upbeat, open, a positive person, who is excited for what's going on."
BRIG. GEN. MCINTIRE
McIntire was gracious in his speech entirely thanking numerous individuals, units, and agencies by name.
He thanked the many assistant commandants he had at the schoolhouse.
"They're all-around unbelievable human beings, who truly enabled me, and I thank you for your service," McIntire said.
Also from his inner circle he mentioned his executive assistant, Vicki Stowe.
"Vicki is my Rock of Gibraltar," he said. "Thanks for everything that you've done to manage my hectic travel schedule, breaking in three aides-de-camp ... all who turned out to be pretty amazing."
McIntire thanked his family.
"I can't thank you enough for the many sacrifices that you've made," he said. "Your love has sustained me through the difficulties that come with military service."
The Army could not have picked a better officer to become the new commandant, McIntire said.
"I have all the confidence in Colonel Brian Gibson; he'll take us to new levels with his own brand of leadership," he said.
McIntire ended in Bob Hope fashion, "Thanks for the memories."
Afterward, McIntire said he was excited about being director of the cross functional team.
"My new job is really to try to figure out what we're doing with our (air and missile defense) capabilities as we move forward in the 21st century," he said. "It's all about putting capability into the hands of our warfighters sooner than the current acquisition process."
The FCoE has two of the Army's top priorities, the other being long range precision field artillery. "That says a lot about Fort Sill, and the state of Oklahoma," he added.
McIntire described his leadership style.
"I like to run decentralized operations," he said. "I like to give my folks good guidance up front, and empower them to run with it.
"I had a good leader that I worked for who said: 'Decentralize to the point where you're uncomfortable, then probably do it a little bit more -- then you probably got it about right,'" he said. "What I've found out is that people who have worked for me can think of things that I could never have come up with; they can make it better. We get much more out of an organization with that kind of leadership style."
Command Sgt. Maj. Finis Dodson, ADA School and ADA branch command sergeant major, came on board with McIntire on June 10, 2016.
It was the second time he's worked with McIntire, having served with him at the 69th Air Defense Artillery Brigade at Fort Hood, Texas. He said it's been excellent working with McIntire.
"He empowers me, and trusts me to do my job," Dodson said. "He's a leader that you can really count on to be down to earth, humble, and give you the right vision to go to the next level."
What will McIntire remember about being commandant?
"This year is our 50th anniversary of the (ADA) branch. It was a point of inflection in becoming one of the (Army's) priorities," he said. "It's been exciting times."