By Randy Murray, Fort Stewart Public AffairsJune 3, 2009
FORT STEWART, Ga. - Colonel Kevin W. Milton assumed command of U.S. Army Garrison, Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield during a change of command ceremony held at Marne Garden, May 29. Colonel Milton accepted command from Col. Todd A. Buchs, who had served as garrison commander for three years. The ceremony was attended by Maj. Gen. Tony Cucolo, senior installation commander, and Davis D. Tindoll, Jr., director of Installation Management Command, Southeast Region.
During the formal part of the change of command ceremony, garrison Command Sgt. Maj. James Ervin passed the U.S. Army Garrison's guidon to outgoing commander Col. Buchs, who passed the guidon to IMCOM, SE director Tindoll, who passed it to Col. Milton, the new commander. Col. Milton then passed the garrison guidon to his new "battle buddy," Command Sgt. Maj. Ervin.
During his remarks following the ceremony, Maj. Gen. Cucolo explained that the Army does not train officers to be garrison commanders; that, in fact, the Army takes the "best of the breed" from everything they know and gives them something completely new, "making them responsible for small cities." He praised Col. Buchs while listing his accomplishments as Stewart-Hunter's garrison commander, which include two Army Community of Excellence awards.
Tindoll also praised Col. Buchs, noting that during his tenure, the 3rd Infantry Division deployed to Iraq then re-deployed back to Fort Stewart. Stewart-Hunter also mobilized and trained three infantry combat brigades, implemented the Army Family Covenant and Army Community Covenant, and established a motorcycle safety course.
He said evidence of Col. Buchs' efforts to support Soldiers and Families can be seen in the nearly $500 million worth of construction currently taking place on Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield.
Colonel Buchs graduated from the U.S. Army Military Academy at West Point, N.Y. in 1984 and began his military career as an armor platoon leader. He served as a company commander during Desert Shield and Desert Storm in 1990 and 1991. He later served in Korea, Bosnia and Germany. He and his wife Renee have two children, Austin and Alexie. During a less formal ceremony before the official change of command, Maj. Gen. Cucolo presented special 'thank you' gifts to Renee and Austin then gave Alexie a stuffed "Rocky" as a going-away gift. Tindoll then presented Col. Buchs with a Legion of Merit for his outstanding service during this ceremony. The Buchs' new assignment is Fort Hood, Texas.
Col. Milton began his military career in 1987 as an armor fire direction officer. He served as a battalion maintenance officer during Desert Shield and Desert Storm in 1990 and 1991 then in 2004, he deployed as a battalion commander during Iraqi Freedom. He and his wife Christina have two children, Jonathan, a student at Tennessee Technological University, and Teresa, who is married to Pfc. Justin Ringle, stationed at Fort Bliss, Texas.