FORT CARSON, Colo. - "This is an important day in the 4th Infantry Division for Division Artillery and for the Menéndez and Maender families," said Brig. Gen. Joseph Ryan, acting senior commander, 4th Infantry Division and Fort Carson.
Members of the Fort Carson community and invited guests bid farewell to Col. Norberto R. Menéndez and welcomed Col. Ryan O. Maender during the 4th Division Artillery change-of-command ceremony at Founders Field, Fort Carson, Colorado, June 13, 2019.
Brig. Gen. Ryan presided over the ceremony where Menéndez relinquished command of DIVARTY to Maender marking the end of an era and the beginning of another.
"This division becomes a part of you," said Menéndez. "This division is one that cannot be duplicated, and I feel the same love that Hemingway had for the 4th Infantry Division. The people that I have encountered in the 4th Infantry Division are simply the best. I am grateful to have served with some of the Army's most talented and insightful general officers."
Shortly before the ceremony began, Menéndez was presented the Legion of Merit for his outstanding service and accomplishments as the DIVARTY commander.
Brig. Gen. Ryan said that Menéndez has been instrumental in DIVARTY's success.
"Menéndez is part of a cohort of field artillery and fire support professionals, who served in the DIVARTYs of the past, before our focus on counterinsurgency warfare," said Brig. Gen. Ryan. "Who simply knows how to enforce standards. ... He did so by emphasizing standards to provide technical expertise, promoting individual responsibility, and by empowering his noncommissioned officers."
During his remarks, Menéndez expressed confidence in his successor.
"During our initial phone call, I knew that you were the person to assume command of the 4th Division Artillery and continue to evolve this organization to the best version of itself," said Menéndez. "You are humble, intelligent and care deeply for our profession. I would be honored to serve in your command, and I wish you and your family a great adventure as you command 4th DIVARTY."
Menéndez concluded his remarks with gratitude toward the Fort Carson community.
"The Colorado Springs community has made Fort Carson the best hometown in the Army," said Menéndez. "To the friends of Fort Carson, the veteran groups and the good neighbors, thank you for all you do for the Soldiers and Families of this installation."
Maender brings a plethora of military experiences to his new role as DIVARTY commander to include deputy commander of operations group at the National Training Center, Fort Irwin, California. He also served as the chief of plans, 7th Infantry Division at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington. His deployments include multiple tours in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Spartan Shield.
"I am humbled to have the opportunity to command and to count myself amongst the ranks of the 4th Infantry Division," said Maender.
The new incoming commander said, "We are the nation's best, and I am looking forward to working with all the officers, NCOs, and Soldiers of DIVARTY and the 4th Infantry Division. My family and I are excited to part of the Fort Carson Community," said Maender."