By Mr. Wallace McBride (Fort Jackson)June 19, 2019
Col. John W. Hankins is in charge of keeping the Army's largest Initial Entry Training Center running for the next two years.
Hankins took command of U.S. Army Garrison -- Fort Jackson from Col. Stephen Elder June 14 during a ceremony at Victory Field.
"Having entered the Army through Basic Combat Training and attended three additional schools here at Fort Jackson," Hankins said, "I am thankful to the Army leadership for the trust and confidence in selecting me to serve a community that has contributed so much to my own professional development."
Fort Jackson trains more than 60,000 Soldiers each year, with Basic Combat Training and Advanced Individual Training provided at the installation.
"Col. Hankins brings extensive experience to this position," said Vincent Grewatz, director of IMCOM Directorate for Training. "But let me be very clear -- nothing he has in his career has prepared him for the job he's about to undertake."
Grewatz said Hankins' technical skills and training won't be of much use at Fort Jackson.
"But they're not why you're here," he said. "Your leadership, your integrity, your managerial skills, your innovation and creativity," he said, "but above all your commitment in caring for our Soldiers and their Families is why you're here."
Elder urged Hankins to trust the talent at work here at Fort Jackson.
"Embrace this garrison and Fort Jackson," he said. "Have faith in your team and know that everything you put into this job will be returned tenfold."
Hankins enlisted in 1994 and was commissioned in 1996. His assignments include Fort Bragg, North Carolina, Germany, Fort Stewart, Georgia and the Pentagon.
His previous assignment was as secretary, Joint Staff, the Joint Staff, Pentagon.
"It is my great honor and privilege to stand here before you as the successor to the great lineage of commanders who have led the garrison organization that integrates and delivers support to the United States Army's largest basic combat training center," Hankins told the audience following the ceremony.
"I am also thankful for the privilege of joining an incredible team of professionals comprising Fort Jackson's Army Garrison," he said.
"As we work together in support of the Fort Jackson community, I ask only one thing: And that is to do your best every day, and I promise to do the same."