Natick, Mass. -- Lt. Col. Bryan Martin relinquished command of U.S. Army Garrison (USAG) Natick to Lt. Col. Andrew Henderson in a change of command ceremony June 26 on Natick Soldier Systems Center (NSSC).
The ceremony also recognized the assumption of responsibility of the garrison's senior non-commissioned officer. During the event, Comm. Sgt. Maj. Stephanie Cleveland assumed responsibility from Comm. Sgt. Maj. Mike Pintagro.
The reviewing officer for the rare ceremony, which signified a total transfer of command leadership of USAG Natick, was U.S. Army Installation Management Command (IMCOM) sustainment director, Davis Tindoll, Jr.
Brig. Gen. Vincent Malone, senior commander, NSSC, addressed the outgoing command team.
"Suffice it to say Lt. Col. Bryan Martin and Comm. Sgt. Maj. Mike Pintagro have done a phenomenal job, said Malone. "There is nothing more that I, as the senior commander, could ask of my battle buddies here at NSSC. Like any great command team, Bryan and Mike have left a solid foundation for their successors, Lt. Col. Andrew Henderson and Comm. Sgt. Maj. Stephanie Cleveland, to build upon. "It's always a bitter sweet moment when we bid a final farewell to one command team and welcome another to the Natick family."
Lt. Col. Martin, the outgoing garrison commander, had a few departing words for the garrison team.
"Team garrison, thanks for the candor, hustle, stretch, and adaptation," said Martin. "From everyone from Kevin and Carlos coming in at 2 AM to get chillers up and running, to Murphy and Hogan guarding the gate in all weather, to Josh Pomfry and Raymond crunching numbers, and everyone in between - a sincere thanks for getting the job done. Serving you has been a great experience and I've learned from each of you. Thank you for the support and for the privilege of command."
"Mike Pintagro, thanks for being a great command sergeant major," said Martin. "Mike and I are as different as you could imagine a public affairs officer and a formerly barrel chested, still knuckle dragging freedom fighter could be. However, we had a great balance, and Mike always offered his best military advice - cold, without emotion and usually with a different angle than how I was looking at an issue. A natural communicator, Mike always looked to build up a bridge when usually my inclination was to wait for someone to cross it and then to level it. I wish you, Divina, and the kids the best of luck at Fort Meade."
Pintagro, the outgoing command sergeant major, shared his thoughts on his experience serving on the command team at USAG Natick.
"Ultimately it's not about spreadsheets or process," said Pintagro. "It's about the people. If we made a difference in a few careers and lives, it was all very well worth it. I wouldn't trade it for orders to Heidelberg. This is a very special place, and I'm grateful for the opportunity to be part of it for a little while. I'm also grateful for the chance to serve alongside such dynamite teammates."
During the ceremony, the incoming command team expressed gratitude to Martin and Pintagro for support they received during the transition and shared their excitement about the future.
"To our Natick team, I know Comm. Sgt. Maj. Pintagro has left me with big shoes to fill, and I look forward to serving you as we continue supporting the modern warfighter," said Cleveland.
"Lt. Col. Martin and Comm. Sgt. Maj. Pintagro, thank you for all you have done for us and for the Soldiers and civilians of Natick," said Henderson. "You are leaving behind a great team and your efforts are greatly appreciated. You have shown yourselves to be a first class team and I am excited to be a part of it. The opportunity to command this garrison is something that I never imagined possible and I look forward to working with all of you as we transform and upgrade the facilities here while continuing to provide support to everyone here at Natick."
Comm. Sgt. Maj. Jeffrey Adams, the IMCOM sustainment command sergeant major, along with local community leaders, retired officers and non-commissioned officers (NCOs), and Department of the Army civilians, were also on hand to say their goodbyes to Martin and Pintagro, and welcome Henderson and Cleveland.
Staff Sgt. Letarsha Massey, of the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine (USARIEM) delivered a heartfelt rendition of the national anthem.
During the ceremony, the NCO of the year from the Human Research Development Detachment (HRDD) honored Mrs. Shana Martin and Mrs. Divina Pintagro with bouquets of red roses to recognize their continued support of Natick Soldiers and civilians during their tenure at Natick. The Martins and Pintagro children also received parting gifts in the spirit of Team Natick.