By Yvonne JohnsonMay 26, 2009
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (Army News Service, May 27, 2009) -- The flags and guidons of the Headquarters, U.S. Army Ordnance Center and Schools, Ordnance Mechanical Maintenance School and Ordnance Munitions and Electronics Maintenance School floated in the breeze as the Army's largest corps symbolically ended its 92-year stay at Aberdeen Proving Ground during its school colors casing ceremony at Ordnance Circle, May 8.
With a host of state and local officials and former ordnance Soldiers in attendance, the Soldiers, Marines and Airmen of OMMS and OMEMS stood in formation as Brig. Gen. Lynn A. Collyar, OC&S commander and chief of Ordnance, and OC&S Regimental Command Sgt. Maj. Daniel A. Eubanks cased the colors that will be unfurled at the Corps' new home in Fort Lee, Va., later this summer.
"As we move to a new chapter, it's important that we celebrate this opportunity to survive as a Corps," Collyar said. "We take pride in the fact that all we are really doing is moving."
The ceremony included an 11-gun Howitzer salute to Collyar by the OMMS Salute Battery led by Chief Warrant Officer 2 Eric Pelt and Staff Sgt. Eric Banks and music by the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command Band.
Commenting on the Corps' 197-year history, which includes its beginnings during the American Revolution and "Service to the line, on time," during every military conflict since, Collyar asked listeners to remember the ordnance Soldiers lost along the way, especially the 189 who have died since 9-11.
He thanked the installation for its support and the community for the partnerships it formed with ordnance Soldiers and asked that the spirit of unity continue.
"I ask that you provide the same support to CECOM, who will be taking our place here," he said, "and that you continue the partnership for the new organizations that you provided to us for ninety-two years. I appreciate the sacrifices everyone here has mad. Let us continue our service to the line on time forever."
Eubanks said the ceremony was "closure to a great week," and that it represented an emotional closing to the past with anticipation for a bright future for ordnance Soldiers.
"Our students will have a new home of their own and the traditions we stand for will not be forgotten," Eubanks said. "We plan to go down there and lead the way in the logistics community."
Former chief of ordnance, Maj. Gen. Vincent Boles, deputy G-4 at the Pentagon, said the event was "bittersweet."
"I have a lot of memories wrapped up in this place, but at the same time, if you go to Fort Lee, you'll see that there's an exciting future awaiting the Soldiers of the Ordnance Corps," he said. "There's a whole new campus for a whole new era."
Col. David W. Spence, deputy commander and chief of staff, OC&S, was commander of troops for the ceremony.
"APG, Maryland, is a huge part of our ordnance history and we'll never forget it. However, the new facilities and equipment at Fort Lee, the new home of Ordnance, are going to be awesome and our ordnance Soldiers surely deserve it," Spence said. "I'm truly happy to see it come to fruition, and I'm glad to play a small part in it. And regardless of wherever I may go, I'll know my ordnance Soldiers are getting the very best training possible to keep our Army strong and rolling along."
(Yvonne Johnson writes for the Aca,!A"APG News.Aca,!A?)