ANNISTON ARMY DEPOT, Ala. -- Team Anniston, in a few short weeks, I will pass the guidon of leadership to my successor and I wanted to take few moments to say farewell.

As I stated during my arrival, Anniston was my first choice and I can truly say this has been a great journey. The depot and the community embraced my family and me from the moment of our arrival.

We are eternally grateful for the open arms, friendship and the camaraderie fostered over the last two years.

Any departure encompasses mixed sentiments. I will focus on the immense sense of pride I have in looking back through the rear view mirror of the many accomplishments of Anniston Army Depot.

We have endeavored and achieved many successes over the past two years. Through your hard work, dedication and devotion to excellence, Anniston Army Depot has achieved unprecedented levels of success. This depot achieved its first 100% schedule conformance and consistently achieves 95% or better in performance to priority.

You continued to improve our safety record and improved quality to the highest levels seen in our contemporary operating environment, receiving accolades from Program Managers and PEOs for this significant transition to a quality-driven organization.

This is even more significant considering the continued increases in planned and unplanned readiness requirements and workload changes throughout the years.

Anniston Army Depot continues to accept those challenges and delivers without hesitation.

Our purpose today is as it was two years ago. Anniston Army Depot must remain resolved in producing readiness today and postured to surge when required.

The Army knows Anniston is instrumental in meeting the nation's readiness requirements. This focus, this intensity, the competitive spirit is shared from the directors and staff to the employees on the shop floor and across our tenants, partners and contractors. It takes all of us to ensure Army readiness.

Your role is crucial in making sure the Soldiers have the right equipment at the right place at the right time.

I also reflect on the immense impact of this organization to our warfighter. We must remain vigilant and remember - "When a Soldier pulls the lanyard, starts the engine, or moves the selector switch from safety to fire -- the equipment cannot fail. It has to perform in the roughest, most austere environments in the world."

At any given day, any given operational environment, on any given mission - it is our sons, our daughters, neighbors and friends depending on Anniston Army Depot.

As I pass the torch to Col. Marvin Walker on July 25, I ask that you keep the momentum going.

Walker comes with a wealth of experience and I have full confidence Anniston will continue to meet and exceed all expectations.

While the bar has been raised, we must not rest. Continue to exceed those challenges set before you and continue to keep Anniston in the forefront -- you are the best of the best.

I am approaching retirement and with that comes the opportunity for the Warhurst family to call Alabama home.

I and the Warhurst family thank you for the opportunity to serve with Anniston Army Depot.

I am immensely appreciative of all you do. I complete this command tour with respect and admiration of the patriots who serve at ANAD -- you made this journey the high point of my career.

Thank You for your service and support. I wish Anniston Army Depot continued blessings.

Army Strong
HOOAH!

JOEL E. WARHURST
COL, LG
Commanding
"The 35th"